March 6th, 2009
05:57 PM ET

Succeeding in health care reform where Clintons failed?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is warning critics of health care reform quote that "The status quo is the one option that is not on the table."

Succeeding in health care reform where Clintons failed?

Mr. Obama seems to promise a more open and inclusive push for expanded health care.

During a health care summit at the White House, the president vowed that he'll listen to anyone with a good idea, that there will be "no sacred cows" and that anyone who tries to block reform will not succeed this time around.

Mr. Obama seems to promise a more open and inclusive push for expanded health care than the failed effort by the Clinton administration 15 years ago. Although he wants coverage for all Americans - the president suggested he would compromise. In the 90s, President Clinton had promised to veto any measure that didn't give him what he wanted. Back then, Hillary Clinton led a secret effort that was mostly written by the White House with little input from lawmakers or interest groups. And it was roundly rejected.

However, President Obama is making a public show of consulting with a wide range of people right from the start. Yet he is setting a strict timeline - likely because the U.S. has 48 million people uninsured and the world's most expensive health care system. Aides say the president is determined to pass health care reform this year, and Democratic leaders say they hope to pass a bill by the end of the summer.

But it's not going to be easy. There are so many interests involved - from patients to doctors to labor unions, drug companies, insurers... and of course - lawmakers up for re-election next year.

Here’s my question to you: How can President Obama succeed where Hillary Clinton failed when it comes to health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ken from North Carolina writes:
Like roaches shun the light, keep the cameras on – so the public can see and hear what they say and do. Doctors, labor unions, drug companies, insurers and lawmakers don't like their public or shareholders to see them objecting to health care ideas that we want and need because of the PR damage it would cause. Keep the light on them. That's what he needs to do.

James writes:
Sadly, Jack, he won't. There are too many entrenched special interests. His effort will, however, illustrate how powerful these forces really are.

Deb from Nauvoo, Illinois writes:
Hillary Clinton has always been an unlikable woman. She was sandbagged by the radical Republican right wing and American health care took the bullet. We are hearing the same thing right now from the Limbaugh wing of that failed party. They don't care how they hurt America, as long as the Democrats fail.

Joan writes:
Yes! Then, most people had health insurance and the problem didn't touch very many people. Now, everyone knows someone whose life has been adversely affected by either the lack of health insurance, or by the very high costs of health care. The lobby to reform the current situation has had 16 years to change public opinion, and they've been very successful!

Lynda from North Carolina writes:
Obama can succeed by listening to health care professionals who are on the front lines. Leave the insurance and pharmaceutical companies out of the talks – all they want is profit, not good, efficient patient care. Do we ask the textbook and pencil makers about education reform? No we go straight to the teachers!

Herman from Fresno, California writes:
By being president rather than married to the president.

soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Anna, Missouri

    It is simple, Jack. Businesses are drowning in debt caused by the cost of health insurance. Now that businesses are behind it, we will get it. When the American people wanted it, it didn't matter, but businesses line politicians pockets, so now we will get it.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  2. Gerrit - Hoboken, NJ

    Obama's got the entire American public so mesmerized by his mere presence that he will have little trouble pushing health-care reform through. Only after it is too late will we all realize what the true costs of universal health-care really are, and it will be virtually impossible to return to the market-based system. People simply do not understand that this isn't something we can just try out, and, if it doesn't work, go back to our old ways.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  3. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    The only way he can succeed is to realize universal healthcare is a bad idea. Social Security is going bankrupt. Medicare is going bankrupt. But universal healthcare is going to succeed. Are we really that ignorant?

    March 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    He is taking a very different approach, holding a summit is a remarkable idea, and one that is a long time coming. He has made promises, and now intends to keep them. Being inclusive of congress and other important entities in the planning process will help eliminate destructive politics. Those who wish for his failure, will pay the price. How refreshing.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  5. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    He can succeed due to necessity. Back then, we could ignore our failing health system since times were good.
    Now we must fix it just to survive the financial mess.

    Hillary can dish out a few "I told ya so's" with pride!

    March 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  6. Ben from Gaithersburg, MD

    Simple. Tell Congress, their staff, and the public service hogs that their health care insurance is terminated and that they will not have any insurance until there is a universal health plan. All US residents should have access to the same health plans as their elected representatives.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Jenna Wade

    How can President Obama succeed where Hillary Clinton failed when it comes to health care reform?

    Most definetly.

    Why, because more Americans are in need than ever before. These are the same Americans that will vote out those who will not vote FOR them having health care.

    Those in the GOP don't get it and that is one more reason why they are being voted out of office.

    Roseville CA

    March 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  8. ajks

    He can succeed because of how desparate we are with our overpayment for health care. He is going about it in the right way by having meetings out in the open, and with representatives from all affected groups in attendance.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  9. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    YES he can. As long as he keeps telling people that this is NOT a Government Run Health Care. That was the lie the Republicans used to kill the Clinton Plan and no one bothered to refute it.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  10. JD in NH

    Obama can succeed by not giving up. The hard fact is the country is in a totally different place now than when the Clintons tried to pass healthcare reform. Businesses struggle to provide health insurance as a benefit or do not provide it at all. The entrepreneurial spirit is squashed by the inability to acquire affordable coverage. We've allowed the health insurance industry to become as greedy and corrupt as Wall Street. The only difference is their denial of coverage in favor of profit may cost you your life. Failure is not an option.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    He will need to use all of his political capitol and then some, get almost 100% of the country with him to overcome the health insurance lobbyists and even convince the wealthy, congress and those radical Republican misanthropes to go along with an idea that is long over due. I guess that means that he can’t. The Republicans will oppose anything and everything he proposes. Remember, their leader has already indicated his desire for Obama and thus the country to fail. His lemmings will follow him off the cliff.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Terry in Hanover County

    One word: finesse.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Katiec Pekin, IL

    He has already started, Jack, with his openess. To speak to, listen and include all areas involved in health care is a big step forward.
    And, to keep the American people informed is what he seems to
    do best. Am so thankful for our new president.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Ben from Arlington, TX

    The only way he'll get any kind of reform through Congress is if he makes huge concessions to the special interests, including the insurance companies. If you don't feed the pigs at the trough, you'll get trampled.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  15. Wardell katrina survivor

    Jack, this is a no brainer, for dummies, it's the economy, if reform doesn't take place,the GREEDY bunch, will rob us ALL blind, our lives won't be worth a copper penny, somebody figured out the laws of supply and demand,what people need and what people want, we need health care, and the crooks, figured out demand would go up,so thus "THE GREAT AMERICAN RIPP-OFF", can you say HEALTH CARE, medications, insurance,and ALL the derivatives!!! You always tell it like it t. i. is, let em have it,the bunch of crooks.The republicans are still trying to hide their hands,BILLY TAUZAN played sick, passed a ripp off pharma. bill,resigned, then took a million dollar job with the pharma. comp.. What mericulous drugs, at what cost to US. Somebody should go to Jail,do not pass go.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Al, Lawrence KS

    It's in the numbers, Jack. Bill Clinton received 43% of the vote, President Obama got 53%. We the people voted for this....and we won't take no for an answer. It's Now or Never...nice plug, huh?

    March 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Andy from Florida

    Obama can succeed on Healthcare where the Clintons failed for several reasons. First it starts with engaging every aspect of the industry from Prescription Drug Companies to Doctors to Patients. The truth is that this is among the most complicated issues out there, pretending that certain groups don't have the right to a voice is where the Clintons fail. Second, Obama has a unique ability to lead and he is persuasive in a way even Bill Clinton couldn't be. Third, he isn't waiting for the political fall out of other programs before making a move. By the time Clinton tried to tackle health care he had lost a lot of his political clout and Republicans controlled Congress. Obama needs to get this done yesterday while he still can.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Jim/NC

    We have in this country over 4 million people that have lost their jobs, adding to the millions that didn't have health care before this financial crisis began. President Obama needs to concentrate on the economy and get it going again or health care reform will not be viable or realistic under any conditions.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  19. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    By using common sense and working with enough groups to make it happen without resorting to giving in to drug company activists and actvists from insurance companies (unless they've finally come to their senses).

    March 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  20. John, NC

    I think the difference is that at this moment, Americans are willing to give new ways in politics a chance. At Clintons' times people looked at this reforms with another perspective. Maybe even with fear? Things had gotten so much worse since then. If you add the super high cost of health care and people losing jobs, the result is that you need aggressive action.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  21. Gigi in Alabama

    President Obama may succeed where the Clintons failed because the time is right. When Hillary tried to reform health care our country was riding a wave of prosperity. Bush left us in dire straits and now the country is ready and willing to accept some form of universal health care.
    If the president can get past the lobbyists for the AMA and the pharmeceutical companies, hopefully we can have something better than we have now. At the moment, you can check in to a 5 star hotel for less than a nights stay at a mediocre hospital.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  22. John from Alabama

    Jack: Health care is more important today than when Hillary was First Lady. People of this nation are more concerned about the quality of health care and its cost. President Obama might be able to succeed where Mrs. Clinton did not, because groups such as, AMA and United States Chamber of Commerce, believe the 50 million people without adequate health is alarming. The number of people going to hospital emergency rooms as triple in the last 5 years. Urgency to solve the problem makes it a hot issue, but is there enough concern from all interested groups to come up with a solution.

    John from Alabama

    March 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  23. Houston Wilson

    Jack, I didn't get to see the entire piece last night but I did see that Rick Scott aka Richard "Mr. Medicare Payments" Scott of Columbia/HCA was touted as the leader/spokesman of the "status quo" group that does not want changes to health care system in America. He has surfaced even though he was fired as the CEO of Columbia/HCA after the company was fined $1.7 BILLION Dollars for Medicare fraud by the Department of Justice. Vett him out and don't let anyone forget who this guy is! He got fired and took millions with him and I would still like to know how much money was actually stolen from Medicare to get a $1.7BILLION Dollar FINE?

    March 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  24. Paula in Albuquerque

    Let's hope so! We need it, as a nation. I have lived in two different provinces of Canada, and because of their so-called "socialized medicine", regret the day that I moved back to the US, where people can DIE, and the medical establishment couldn't care less! What kind of future will there be for a nation which has not prioritized maintaining a HEALTHY population? Fat derrieres...(and, there are a slew of them, in America!)...are not the infallible sign of "prosperity", and "the good life"! They are, instead, a terrible indicator of significant health issues up ahead...adding "tons" of pressure to already-stressed medical facilities, and health-care providers, in this country. I was all set to move to Germany, but their mandatory health-plan insurance would have been too steep for me to live comfortably on my pension. Yet, I can appreciate Germany's insistence that its citizens and residents have medical coverage for the best medical attention, in the world...and, hence a truly HEALTHY population. A nation is only as "great" as the overall HEALTH and EDUCATION of its citizens indicates...period.

    March 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  25. catherine berryhill

    He cannot! Why would anyone believe that he can? What does Obama have that Clinton did not have?

    March 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  26. Tina Tx

    Being open in talking helps.
    Tina Tx

    March 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  27. Allen L Wenger

    The Clinton's saw the health crisis coming, but special interest groups and the Republicans were able to convince a large segment of the population that there really wasn't a problem. Convincing people that there isn't a health care crisis today, will be much harder. The discussion today is how to fix it, not whether it needs fixing.

    Mountain Home ID

    March 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  28. Michael "C" Lortton, Virginia

    Jack: It is a nice idea, but it is almost impossible to provide health care reform for all Americans without socialize medicine–and to tax the wealthy to pay for healthcare for the poor--ain't going to happen either--this is a tremendous challenge--but he will fail trying to succeed.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  29. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Things are much different now than when Hillary tried. The opponents of past efforts are now on board, and President Obama is doing the right thing bringing them all together and giving the process transparency. It's now an economic issue as well as a moral issue. It's also a priority for many voters and they know that! I hope they succeed. I, for one, could use their help.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  30. Ed Reed

    I think attitudes have changed and those who once opposed universal care are now in favor of it. Business has been footing the bill for health insurance, which has been rising faster than the rate of inflation, and they're looking to reduce costs.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    March 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  31. Joe in DE

    A sweeping reform andf major changes is along shot – probably will not happen. Obama should perue a dual corse, pushing the most easily obtained reforms while conferring on the grand fix. The first ggoal should be tpo get everyone covered..

    March 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  32. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    I certinly don`t have the answer`s to all of our health care problems, but what i would like to know is, with so many people suggesting that a single payer system is what we need, why is President Obama afraid to talk about it?

    March 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  33. JR in Norfolk VA

    I'll bet Hillary is thinking "so that's what I did wrong – all I had to do is to run the economy into a ditch first and then I could sell nationalized health care as a way to fix it. Heck, we could have gone whole hog and instituted Socialism at one go."

    I don't see how "listening to anyone with a good idea" will solve our problems, because you soon end up by listening everyone with a "good" idea. What we need is a plan and real leadership, not desperately clutching at straws.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  34. Jane (Minnesota)

    Health costs are running out of control & will harm the econmoy further if it's not addressed. He's doing to right thing by having the sides all together in one place instead of shuttling between them. Let's see if bipartisan can work on this issue.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  35. Tom, Bradenton

    He needs to explain that it will save money in the long run. I lived in Europe and one of the best things ever was the health care system. It makes it easier for companies to compete and will prevent spending a lot of money it illnesses are discovered early. People get sick and the government should provide care.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  36. Bcoz Ont canada

    Jack, our system up here in Canada is some what broken and probably the problem is the same one the US has. A lot of Canadians are fat and unhealthy. If people want to fix the health care system they should fix their health by dropping lbs.

    Canadians and Americans are, to be polite fat and as long as there are the line ups problems will just continue to grow. A healthy population means a healthy and prosperous economy.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm |

    First get the Senate to abolish their stupid supermajority rule, which gives veto power to 41 Senators. Next, bite the bullet, buck up, and pass a national universal health insurance program. Not a healthcare program, an insurance program. Insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, denied claims, ruined lives, dead patients, all gone. Sorry insurance companies, we've got to sacrifice something, and its you.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  38. Tom in Desoto Texas

    Hillary Clinton had the process behind closed doors. Not so with Obama, lesson learned. Have a lot of prespectives put on the table. Mixing elements will probably be the best. Republican's will always squalk about costs, something they didn't do for 8 years as the debt more than doubled. At least with health care the people of the country will receive the benefits of the spending.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  39. Donna Wisconsin

    i believe President Obama can succeed at anything he puts his mind to. Such intellegence, integrity and openness to ideas is so refreshing. And he knows tho maybe won't say it, that it is a travesty that the richest country in the world is the only one without healthcare for its citizens. There should not be anyone that has to decide between Cancer treatment and food or a house payment versus a child's diabetes medicine. When 'Doctors without Borders" visit our own towns here in the US, we have a large problem. The President will do this, without a doubt.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  40. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Because he's not Hillary Clinton. Obama has already shown in a his first two months of office he knows how to get things done. And the Clintons were doing it for their own legacy like they did everything else. Obama is doing for Ted Kennedy's legacy and the uninsured.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  41. stephen blesofsky

    The differences between then and now alone bolster President Obama's chances to succeed in health care reform: then support was mainly limited to moral authority, now it is also, and mainly, fiscal authority; that is, we ALL are already paying for the uninsured when they seek higher cost treatment at emergency rooms, small business employers are choking on health insurance costs and health care cost are escalating at what we are finally beginning to recognize as an unsustainable rate. We are slowly coming to understand that our high and escalating health care cost are undermining our ability to compete with other countries.

    Steve Blesofsky
    Sun City Center, Fl

    March 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  42. Dan

    Dear Jack,

    Obama will succeed because he is asking the right question. Prior to his administration, the politicos defined this issue in terms of "how do we pay for the rising cost of health care?" This was the wrong question because it had no good answer. Our current President is asking "why is health care so expensive and how can we bring those costs down?" Finally the right approach! If we can bring those costs down, the chance of paying them then becomes doable. Bravo, Barak.

    Dan NY

    March 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  43. Richard - Knoxville TN

    One of the biggest reasons health care reform failed during the Clinton administration was in fact Hillary R. Clinton -

    Her "My-Way-or-the-Highway" attitude didn't set too well with most people - Especially as she was not an elected or a duly appointed and vetted govenment official - Most people, myself included felt she oversteped her bounds (as in, just who the hell does she think she is?) and as a result, she, and health care reform got slapped down -

    Will Obam succeed using a different approach - I'd like to think so, and believe he has a pretty good chance, unless the spineless republican party continue to listen to Boss Rush ---–

    RB Knoxville TN

    March 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  44. Remo in Austin,Texas

    Jack it's simple, he's not Hillary.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  45. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    He can and will succeed where others have failed because he is flexable and open to other peoples ideas. His seems to be the voice of reason and now hopefully the lawmakers will get it. We the people voted President Obama into office to work on our behalf not to work for the lawmakers and their buddies. The American people are behind him. Enough said, he will succeed in most of his endevors because right is might and he is right.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    March 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  46. Conor in Chicago


    We live in a country where doctors routinely prescibe medicine to patients that they own stock in whether or not it is the best medicine for the patient. Half of our Congress is on the payroll of the drug companies and the insurance companies. This is all a dog and pony show.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  47. J Georgia

    What you're talking about is reducing incomes of the highest paid and most vocationally unified element of American society. There won't be any meaningful reform. Some small element within the healthcare system will get legislatively altered, a 'mission accomplished' banner will be hoisted, and Congress will move on.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  48. Jim, from Las Vegas

    It will be impossible for him to suceed with healthcare (or any other social program) until he solves the problem of bringing jobs back to the US. Doing that was a big part of his campaign, especially in the Rust Belt sttes, THAT should be his top priority right now, not healthcare.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  49. Paul Austin,Texas

    By votes in both houses that is just the way it is. I would like to know one thing. I was in the hospital and the bill was hudge. The insurance company told the hospital ok we will pay you 40% of the bill and since you are in our plan you eat the other 60% and they did. Now it I was without insurance do you think the hospital would even talk to me if I said the same thing not a chance. So what was the cost 100% or was 40% the ture cost.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  50. Bruce Campbell

    Why doesn't somebody look north and use the Canadian health care system as a model. It is not perfect yet, but it is light years ahead of the U.S. non system. It is cheaper per capita, it has over 30 years history And it is the pride of most Canadians. Government run single payer health care has not destroyed or bankrupt Canada. It has made for a stronger more just society.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  51. Richard K.

    He shrewdly wants the legislature to write the bill and not work based on a preconceived plan advanced by the executive branch. Once the Congress begins deliberating on the complexities of the legislation, we will see what democracy is really all about; factions. In the final analysis, a consensus will emerge from those factions that is both politically pragmatic and empowering for the American people who are being strangled by healthcare costs and nearly 43 million are without any healthcare at all. President Obama opened the dialog; Congress must deliver.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  52. Janet, Yosemite Gateway, California

    One word; urgency.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  53. Peggy from Spokane WA

    The president is going to have to take on the insurance and the drug companies with no holes barred.
    They are going to fight tooth and toenail, because they have been calling the shots for many years now. The insurance companies are taking the premiums and denying care. They are charging so much for coverage that the normal person cannot afford it, This is their path to huge profits.
    Meanwhile, we are getting sicker and sicker out here, and if we do not have mega – money it is too bad for us!
    I just turned 62, I just got a medicare AARP supplement, after not having insurance for 7 years. I went to the doctor Monday and found out I am on the verge of a stroke, and have some serious heart disease. NOW I am undergoing all sorts of expensive tests! I am aware that I am just a statistic in this new reality, but I do matter to my children and grandchildren, And, I cannot imagine what is going to become of their health if this is not resolved and soon!

    March 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  54. Bob from Lodi. NJ

    President Obama may have some success where Mrs Clinton failed due to 2 facts in my opinion:

    1) Mr. Obama, as the elected Commander-in Chief , is pushing this agenda on his own where Bill Clinton delegated much of it to the efforts of the the First Lady. A lot of Americans , even Congressmen/Senators, then & even still today resent activist First Ladies., sad as it sounds?

    2) Needless the say the Health Care situation in this country has exacerbated to such troublesome levels that even conservatives can no longer justify ignoring the problem nor offer their own viable solutions.

    I believe Hillary was sincere & gave it her BEST shot but the nation was NOT in the dire situation it is today and this problem MUST NOW be addressed. I support our new President and urge everyone else to do so regarding his health reform in his goals.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  55. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I think one reason that Obama just might be able to "get 'er done" is that ex for the so called "Health Insurance" gonophs, who are really in the health care DENIAL business, MOST major US companies, esp the manufacturers like Boeing, GM, Ford and others with union contracts, have seen their cost of company provided healthcare for workers and retirees become OUTRAGIOUS the last decade and WANT some national plan that they can lay off those costs to.

    IF Obama can sell his program as a way for our business to be more competitive with the rest of the world, he probably has a good chance.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  56. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Times are different today and hopefully people now know that we cannot continue on as we have in the past. We pay over 12% of our gross income for monthly premiums alone and are glad that we have good insurance today. Maybe our premiums would go down if more people were covered as we know that we're paying for the people that don't have it.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  57. Michele - NY

    I think there are more pressing matters than this right now. Nice way to ignore what he should be working on now.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  58. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    So far Obama is not disliked and mistrusted nearly as much as Hillary was. Advantage Obama.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  59. Frost

    yes, I think more people now understand that our medical system is just big money.. no different that wall-street or the big banks. And run by the fat cats that keep getting fatter

    And that's why the ads will start pouring out to stop it.. there was one this morning.. they guy spending 5 million of his own money..

    ask yourself.. how many of us did he rip that 5 million off of?

    of course they don't want it fixed.. it's the gravy for them And we see that now.....

    Soon as we needed it... gone

    March 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  60. docb

    By being out in the open and making the Congress and the HMO's , Ins Co, and Pharma do the same! Hclinton only operated behind closed doors.

    The times are much more critical and the issue will not go away now -with the internet etc>

    March 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  61. karen-phoenix

    Turning point! More people out of health care than paying into. SOMETHING MUST CHANGE!!! NOW IS THE TIME FOR NATIONAL HEALTH CARE!

    March 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  62. Ralph Nelson

    Set up a commission of the best and what they say goes into law unless the Republicans vote it down. Pass the buck and pray for luck. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  63. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    As a documentation specialist and an inpatient/outpatient coder, our health care system is within my area of expertise. I have a Master of Science degree in Health Care Management and I am a Registed Health Information Administrator. To understand our health care problems, one must understand the intricasies of how the system works or more often why it doesn't work. From my personal experiences I can honestly say senior management in all of their visionary wisdom do not have a clue and if President Obama depends on them, he will not succeed. Resolution of our problems is acutally very simple – standardization and if necessary centralization of health care. Most of our problems can be immediately resolved by expanding Medicaid to include the uninsured and requring the private insurance companies to standardize their coding and billing systems to comply with CMS, so that everyone is using the same dialogue and can communicate with one another. Under the present system the insurance companies are being so manipulative and dogmatic that they are forcing our health care facilities to inflate their charges in order to be better compensated for their care rendered. I could cite many instances why I am right; perhaps another time.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  64. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Bring the lefft and right to the center. Make it a public and private sector.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  65. Harry

    The Clinton plan was partisan politics. Both sides of the aisle recognize some type of reform is needed. The views may be dramatically different, but the need for reform is nearly universal, even if the coverage will never be.


    March 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  66. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Heath care for everyone is much more advantageous for the country than having to "shell" thousands or hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to try and cure someone when it could have been prevented in the first place if medical/dental checkups were available AND affordable. A healthy nation is also a well educated nation. It's too bad that the Republicans under the "leadership (questionable)" of people like Newt Gingrich in the 90s only saw $$$$ signs for the insurance and the drug companies instead of a healthy popluace. We also would much rather see pre-med students get more government assistance than have them burdened with enormous loan debt.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  67. Ann from Charleston, S.C.

    I think President Obama will succeed where Hillary Clinton failed when it comes to health care reform because health care costs are are a factor in our current economic problems and more of the players recognize the need for reform now than 15 years ago. The President is is more likely to succeed because he is wise enough to include everyone in framing the changes and to be open to compromise instead of insisting that it be done his way. He knows how to massage egos.

    March 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  68. Edith in Roswell NM

    If I understand correctly,Pres. Obama will allow people to keep the insurance and doctor they have-if they want to do so. I think that is unlike the Clinton plan of the '90's and is an important distinction.However, Hillary's plan was better in one respect:Every American (even the young and healthy who just rely on emergency room care ) would have been mandated to participate.That would surely have helped bring down the costs for all.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  69. Rose in Az

    Obama will not succeed with his Health Care plan. As you pointed out there are many obstacles and I see the doctors as his biggest problem. When patients find out they are going to have longer waiting times in ERs etc. the patients will also become a major problem. I do not believe that we the patients will get the same health care as the Senators like Obama said. Can you see Obama waiting in an ER? I don't think so.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  70. ihek

    Greed, greedy doctors, pharmacists, worse of them all- insurers have hijacked democracy in this country. For them democracy has become economy for themselves, about themselves and by themselves. They are the reasons why a health care reform seems so herculean. Hospitals treat people, not doctor's offices. Doctor's offices raise the cost of health care. Doctors should be employed by hospitals. When a doctor has a private practice and also employed by a hospital, you do not need a seer to tell you that there are conflicts of patients going on. The only reform in health care needed is to build government hospitals at all levels of government, federal, state, counties and local. Big businesses too who can afford to run their own hospitals need to do so. Small businesses can league together and run their own hospitals as well.

    My father worked for a company that owned a hospital, staffed it with doctors, nurses and all the necessary support staff. The company deducted a very small and painless fraction of my father's pay and from the salaries of all their employees. In return, employees and their family members received every health service needed, big or small. America can do better. The medicare tax and social security taken from taxpayers salaries are more than sufficient for governments to run their own hospitals profitably. There are too many players in the American health care game. That is right a game. Insurance companies, pharmacies, doctors, lobbyists and the governments before President Obama came along are playing games with taxpayers lives and health.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  71. Mike Spengler

    From his "set aside" of $634 billion for future health care reform costs, President Obama has shown that he is more serious about reform than the Clintons were.

    What amuses me is a quote from a letter written to Obama from 5 GOP Senators (including Grassley and McConnell) that "...forcing free-market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field..."

    Really? Or would it simply level the playing field for health care subscribers? And if, in the eyes of right-wingers, government-run programs are inherently inefficient, what are these guys afraid of?

    March 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  72. Jackie in Dallas

    I don't know how, Jack, but I hope he succeeds! He's going about it the right way, at least, consulting with a wide range of professionals in the field.

    I would quibble with people who insist we have the best health care system in the world. As you said, it is the most expensive, but certainly not the best. If it were the best, we wouldn't rank the lowest among the industrialized countries on four major aspects of healthcare: we have the highest infant mortality rate, the highest rate of diabetes, the highest rate of heart disease, and the highest rate of stroke. We also pay the highest rate for presciption medicines. It is appalling.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  73. RJ ~ New York, NY

    The primary difference between now and 15 years ago is a matter of perception. Universal health care was always thought of as a costly liberal idea. Now people are beginning to realize that it a good health care plan is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

    After watching the auto bail debates, the nation became aware that business owners in the US are at an unfair advantage. They have to compete in a global market place against foreign companies that enjoy the benefits of national health care.

    Insurance costs are crippling big businesses and small businesses alike. It is an undue burden to expect companies to keep carrying the load. It stifles job growth and the economy as a whole.

    Combine that with the fact that in the long run, universal health care will save the taxpayers much more than it will costs, and it quickly becomes the most conservative thing to do.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  74. Marie Shum oceanside ca

    this is a no brainer question and i will give you the best answer
    we can not fail we have to reform something we know is bad as our sick care system. we need to bring it in the 21st century we need to up date it stop using paper and transfer it to the digital and this will save thousands of trees

    March 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  75. David - Vancouver


    He must expand and extend his message of personal responsibility.

    He must look outside the healthcare system to what brings so many people into contact with it – obesity, violence, substance abuse, etc.

    Impaired driving alone has huge financial and social costs.

    Reducing avoidable injuries can provide funds for true health needs.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  76. Horn Lake, MS

    Hillary was never honest with America. Never has been. Never will be. Obama at least says he will be, although evidence is mounting to the contrary. It's not to late to turn it around.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  77. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I think that he is already succeeding. He comes to this problem with a different attitude of compromise and teamwork. He is being open about what he wants to accomplish and is asking for ideas to get it done. I think that he will succeed. It is important that he does because all Americans need quality healthcare as soon as possible.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  78. william fitzwater

    He has already succed Obama brouth in groups that are as divided as doctors and insurance company and Pharmcutical companies. The end game is to produce a way for illness not to mean the destruction of a indivduals livelyhood or way of life. For some healthcare means life itself others it is thier own livlyhoods.
    It also means large health insurance companies must give up power and that won't be easy. For some medicine has become a large business and that is disturbing to me because medince should not be about who has abilty to pay but who needs the care .Witholding care based on ecnomic status I feel is unamerican but this is the relaty today. The parmuciutacl companies will have to understand the thier products and devices costs are born by others and these cots do not reflect the acutal costs to priduce the products.
    Lastly government needs to be able to negotiate with large pharmcutical comapnies and medical equiptment manfacutures. The government right not doesn't do this because this is thought of as "socializled". If government could negotiate like the failed prop 79 in calif this would save huge amounts of money. Right now this is thought of as socilaized medicine even though large insurance comapnies do this every day . In other industries this could be called price fixing .

    March 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  79. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    Hillary Clinton has always been an unlikeable woman. She was sandbagged by the radical republican right wing and American health care took the bullet. We are hearing the same thing right now from the Limberger wing of that failed party. They don't care how they hurt America, as long as Democrats fail. I imagine they can kill thousands of Americans by refusing to help reform health care. THey sure act like they want us all to die.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  80. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    He needs to get all sides involved in the solution; no one idea will fix the problems in delivering quality healthcare. First ,start by knowing what drives the costs associated with delivering medical care. The American public also needs to understand it is also their responsibility to lower cost. Don't stuff you face with fast food , and then complain why you got a $10000.00 bill for open heart surgery.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  81. Ken in NC

    Like roaches shun the light, keep the camers on so the public can see and hear what they say and do. Doctors, labor unions, drug companies, insurers and lawmakers don't like their publice or sharholders seeing them objecting to healthcare ideas that we want and need because of the PR damage it would cause. KEEP THE LIGHT ON THEM. That's what he needs to do.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  82. Marie Ontario

    Obama has already succeeded in a large part as he has positioned the Senate an House Representatives in a fish bowl where their constituents will be watching their rhetoric and policies on this important issue.

    If the Republicans continue to follow the Bush Doctrine of letting the free market decide the health care costs in the belief competition will bring the costs down their party will never recover from this mistake.

    In short Obama's show of inclusiveness has put all interests on the hot seat and they'll have to come to the party on their best behaviour.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  83. Rob, San Diego

    It shouldn't be too difficult. The Democrats dominate both the House and the Senate. If he was able to convince 3 Republicans to vote for the bloated pork-filled stimulus bill, I don't see why he'd have a problem convincing 3 Republicans to support his bloated wasteful healthcare bill.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  84. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,let's hope not,socialized medicine has never worked and most likely never will,most people that I have talked to in Canada and Sweden hate it!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  85. Eileen Peabody MA

    Simple Jack....President Obama is bringing in all stakeholders and is willing to compromise to get the BEST program. Madame Secretary made up a plan that worked for she and her cronies and pushed it forward as "My way or the Highway." Obviously....it took the road trip.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  86. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    By sticking to his guns and forcing the issue. We need it now much more than we needed it in the early 90's.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  87. just me!

    After watching Obama's approach yesterday I think we have a chance. We have an intelligent president who is willing to listen, compromise and work together. Now we have to wait and see if the drug companies, congess, special intersts are willing to play ball.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  88. Daniel, Indiana

    The only way he'll succeed is if he gives into the corporate lobbyists, as with anything else. They are determined on making us slaves to their wishes. We are headed toward a new Dark Age with the corporations being the nobles. We will have the same situation as the third worlders do of purchasing their products, a year's salary to buy a pair of jeans. Everyone will lose with that.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  89. NANCY M.- Colorado

    First, by not allowing the insurance companies a place at the table. They have been running the show for way too long!

    March 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  90. Gigi

    I guess he will have to grease a lot of palms. If keeping out the trouble makers didn't work that would be my next guess.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  91. garrick

    hi jack
    the first step was great bringing everyone to the table,now he must rally the public to fight the lobbist and Washington from putting it off.maybe we need to tell congress they have to pay for their own instead of the tax payers footing the bill for their health care.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  92. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, this is a priority, I work in healthcare have for thirty years even the Physicians want a single payer program. I know that some members of the GOP say "it's a privilage to have healthcare", to him I would say, ok so it's a privilage to have air to breathe, maybe we should start charging for it and see how that goes over.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  93. Nancy, Tennessee

    Barack Obama's approach to healthcare is different than Hillary's because he tells people if you like the coverage you have then keep it. Surely, people who are fortunate enough to have good health insurance like our men and women in Congress will not object to others having the same. To make healthcare affordable for all, the doctors, drug companies, and insurers will have to work with the new plan or be left out. It is not acceptable for people in the United States of America to do without care and medicine that is needed. This is not a third world country and this is not the dark ages.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  94. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    They don't hate Obama as much as they did or, excuse me, as they do Hillary. He has a much better chance at getting something done. Besides, everything the republicans said would happen if Hillary's healthcare was instituted, has happened with the system THEY love so well. People are starting to smarten up and are not going to buy that bunk from the republicans anymore.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |

    My Buddy Jack Cafferty; Barack Hussein Obama won't succeed in implementing universal health care. The only thig I could sugest for Obama is to bribe some Republican senators. A poll conducted by CNN Lou Dobbs with this question "are the American people outraged President Obama is looking for advice on health care reform from the same Washington lobbyists he promised to curb? 89% said yes. As we all know, Lou Dobbs is from CNN. Apparently Lou Dobbs is exposing Obama for the corrupt president he is. The health care issue is one of the programs our socialist president Barack Hussein Obama wants to take us toward socialism. There should be a health care program but not as extensive as Obama is proposing. I would suggest a free preventative care system with free prescriptions. With that in place, the poor working and middle class would have a greater chance for diagnosing an illness before it becomes serious. Then the American people could buy a supplemental health insurance policy to cover for any serious health issues. That would be a more manageable and would cost considerably less than universal health care

    March 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  96. Vinnie Vino


    The best thing President Obama could do is place a call to the couple living under a rock, Harry and Louise. That helped to kill the Clinton's attempt to reform the health care system in this Country. In their conversation he can ask them for a few tips on how to get this reform pass all the special interest groups that are wishing to maintain the health care system in it's status quo...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  97. Greg, Ontario

    He needs to do it in phases as apposed to one bill applying to everyone. He should start with the poorest people, those unemployed, receiving food stamps etc. They should get a Federal card that they can use to get treatments they need.
    As the economy improves and the employers recover, perhaps the government can give tax breaks etc to companies that give health care benefits or even help them pay for it.
    The point is take it slow but steady and be open to making changes as they are needed as well as having the ability to tell the people "sorry, we just can't afford that yet."

    March 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  98. Marsha Brooks

    washington state i sure hope he goes beyond what clinton tried. It is too many years of those who have and those who have not and YOU look the other way and could care less, lest you might lose all you have one day and know the toss away feeling.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  99. Willow, Iowa

    I sure hope so. We are the last developed country without universal health care. We have millions without any health care, and millions more under insured. And millions of children needing health care. And dental. I think the time has come. He can build on what the Clintons did, seeing where they went wrong and where our country needs to go.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  100. Richard

    Jack : its timing, and the time is now.Its really sad in this country when you pay Insurance companies for health Insurance and cant even go to the doctor cause the health care professionals want so much for their services ,you cant go . And people have wised up to the republican same line " do you want the burocrats desiding if you have a procedure or not. Well guess what its already that way with the Insurance companies. I use to work for one and thats the way it is.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  101. Jerry Harris

    He probably can, he is going about it in an entirely different manner.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  102. Jay in Texas

    Until we change over to government-provided free healthcare for every American, there can be no true reform of our healthcare system. Obama's proposal is no better than Clinton's or Bush's. All of them are designed to make the big drug corporations and insurance corporations richer while they leave millions of Americans lacking in adequate coverage.
    Brownwood, Texas

    March 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  103. Will from San Jose

    Health care costs have now become a massive financial burden on business. If President Obama can frame a plan that shows business benefiting from health care changes, due to driving costs down then he will dramatically shift the political balance in favor of getting something done.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  104. gerry luimes

    We have seen Pres.O persue a cause vigourisly when he is convinced of its merit..He is correct with the proposed H.C. reform.
    He will fight for it with all his intellectual power.If the power of the nay-sayers is bigger,the USA probably will be the only"rich" country among the civilised ones without a comprehensive Health Care system..Pity!.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  105. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    First thing he should do is propose universal health care and tell the republicans and the HMO's and insurance companies to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Second,control costs and third,make sure that the health-care providers are compensated fairly for their work. Anything is better than the disaster that we have now.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  106. Natalie

    Management 101 Jack: Management is the ability to get things done through the efforts of others...bipartisan and otherwise. President Obama has repeatedly asked us (you, me, and the rest of the world) to think outside of the box...yet we still seem not to get it: It isn't about what HE can get accomplished Jack its about what we, the American people, are willing to compromise on in an effort to come up with solutions that are not determined by party lines or politics. Why can't the media and conservative people seem to get this? I guess the old saying about the familiar being comfortable. This President is a rare gift to humanity asking that we stop the nonsense and just get it done by working together cooperatively.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  107. Dr. Giorgio da Modena,Italia

    Health care reform is of such importance, that it still surprises people all over the world that the United States has not been providing it's own people with sound medical care, even denying them access to basic fundamentals! Much criticism is to be had! Bail out for machinery/auto makers, but deny your citizens good health, preventive health measures, and first-line treatments! Is it not a true marker of a failing or at least flawed society, when gaining dollars is a greater priority, then healing the sick, and alleviating the pain and suffering of those unfortunate individuals struck by devastating diseases and maladies? A great deal of soul-searching is needed! Where did all the idealism, altruism, and compassion that was seen in American society in the 1960's vanish to? Where was the American Medical Association, 15 years ago when Hillary Clinton's Health care reform was so soundly rejected? Shame and more shame be cast on those special interests group that have destroyed the practice of medicine in America, turning the art and science of medicine to a purely commercial undertaking! That never has worked and it will never work! Big pharma, big Insurance, big business, you'll get your just deserts, even before you have to answer to a higher order!

    March 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  108. LInda in Arizona

    He's already off to a good start for the reasons you mentioned. In addition, this time, small businesses are going to agree that health care reform could lower their costs. The poor state of the economy will help get reform passed now.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  109. Jim from Chicago

    It remains to be seen, Jack, whether Obama can succeed in this quest. The drug, hospital and insurance lobbies are bound to be lining up to try to block real progress, with a cadre of Republican obstructionists in tow. These factions have managed to scare Americans using the specter of socialized medicine with the government "selecting your doctor and what treatment he can apply." Hopefully, we can finally get beyond this malarkey, but I'm not holding my breath.

    March 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  110. Kiran Mandava,Atlanta,GA

    Because Hillary Clinton or for that reason every single president looked at the senate election the next year. Where as Obama right from the word go is focused on how to get better Health care to every single American. He doesn't care what happens in 2012 or beyond. He is one that leader committed to public care and service.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  111. Jack Martin

    President Obama should just continue stating the facts about our healthcare system. The Clinton's caved in to the AMA, the insurance moguls, and the right wing corporate shills. I don't think President Obama will cave. He will win despite the Republican "no no" congress.
    Jack in Boynton Beach Fl

    March 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  112. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    With the "Let's Get It Done" attitude, I see it getting done this time. It's get on board or get left behind. Pres Obama has set the table and it's time for the "People" to eat! Meaning that if those who don't want this to happen this time; just don't want it. It's a funny industry with so many involved, no one wants to be left out. Pres Obama is making sure everyone has a place at the table. It's almost supper time!

    March 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  113. George, Dunedin, Florida

    The makeup of the House, and the Senate is very much different now than when Clinton tried to pass the Health Plan. Republicans controled both Houses at that time by a wide majority. If Obama doesn't get it passed it this time, it will never be passed..

    March 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  114. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    With the current attitude of the Republicans I can see no way out. The Republicans have shown they do not care about people, they only want to destroy the nation.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  115. Scott in Canada

    Why did the Republicans stand on the line and vote en-masse against the stimulus? Because they didn't get a chance to pitch in. Why did Congress reject the Clintons' proposal? Because they didn't get a chance to pitch in. Why will Obama succeed? Because he's not that stupid.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  116. ken jefferson city mo

    Jack ,the pressure from the people will make this happen and the media will carry out our message.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  117. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    Obama can succeed, but he needs to put on the brakes with health care reform and reform the banking system and wallstreet before he digs us deeper into national debt. Wait a year, and if the economy rebounds go all out to reform health care. Slow and easy is sometimes better than fast and hard. Easy does it, Mr. President.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  118. Jay in Nashville

    From what the media has reported there is more willingness by all the stakeholders to change the current system. I think President Obama is smart to keep Hillary Clinton away from healthcare, right or wrong she would bring baggage to the reform. President Obama seems to be more open about the process and giving the stakeholders a voice. That didn't happen under President Clinton's efforts. We should get more healthcare for the amount of our GDP we spend in that sector. It is not reasonable however to keep lowering payments to care providers. What ever solution is arrived at somebody will not be happy.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  119. Spencer from Virginia

    Because President Obama is pushing for it harder than she was. He realizes that refom must happen NOW or else we are in for a world of disaster. Everything involvced with healthcare is going up.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  120. NYC REPUB, Bx., NY

    He's suceeding already in the early initiative to get the top players involved....... He knows all manner of policies must be heard and agreed on for consensus........Obama is also putting this issue in full view, which will give him leverage w/ the people of U.S.
    I would love to see this victory for every american, this year.... Whoever obstructs, will not be able to hide from it........and will pay for their betrayal of american trust dearly.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  121. Bella in Naples, FL

    Hi Jack,
    Whether a health care plan succeeds depends on its form. I think
    "timing" is everything and really do NOT believe
    that right now is the time to try to get something
    comprehensive and lasting. The economics just
    aren't there.
    I think Obama should wait until the war or wars are
    over and the economy is perking up. Say, a year
    from now. It would be better to succeed then rather
    that to fail now.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  122. Cory from connecticut

    Offer tax breaks and other insentives to health insurance companies who lower their premiums. Offer tax breaks and other incentives to companies who decide to better their health coverage and availability for their employees. Nationalized health care is just too radical a move considering the situation we are in.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  123. John in San Diego

    Health care reform will succeed this time because, as Obama said yesterday, all parties involved have already used up the old excuses for not getting it done.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  124. Susan Frost

    He'll be more successful than the Climntons for three reasons:
    First, even those who currently have health coverage are disgusted by the runaround they get from the insurance companies which seem more interested in maximizing profits than providing the service they're being paid for. Second, the younger generation of voters is not as paranoid about government intervention to solve our nation's problems as their parents were. Third, and most important, President Obama will not take an all-or-nothing stance the way Hillary Clinton did and will pursue health care reform in a pragmatic, incremental fashion using persuasion and dialogue to start the ball rolling.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    March 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  125. Carolyn Pottsville, PA

    He could start by lowering the age of get Medicare to 50 this year, and then 40 next year, etc. Do it gradually so people will not fear nationalization of health care. But more importantly he should pick a Czar of Exposing the Pharmaceutical Industry. Most of the drug companies spend their money for "research" on advertising and paying off doctors. If Americans took the time to read about this, they would not take their drugs. A drug for psoriasis states that you cannot get pregnant or give blood for Three years. What side effects will get our attention – your arms and legs will fall off? People would still take it – they would say, okay I'll just take it until one of them falls off!! We need to get the advertising off the televisions and magazines. This is where the money is going down the drain. They did a study of which countries had the best health and longest living residents. They were countries that did not have all of the machines and tests and pharmaceuticals.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  126. Alan-Buxton, Maine

    Obama has made a vital case for universal health care and is willing to pursue whatever path will get us there. He is not holding out for his pet project as the only way. I just hope he gets more co-operation with this than he has with the bailout and the budget.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  127. Dee

    President Obama won't have to do too much because unlike in the early 90's ,the people of this country are demanding it!



    March 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  128. Michele from Michigan

    The health care system through insurance practicies has developed a lack of concern for the patients. Yes for the health and well being of American citizens are what the government needs to cover costs to all patients.

    Prior to the turn of the 1900 century, Doctors were occasionlly paid in trade by patients. What happened to the hippocratic oath, Physicians take on completing their education. Are people less important today as they were in the last two centuries?

    The America constitution is based on life liberty and the pursuit of happiness of its people, is this no longer important to why our country was founded.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  129. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    He seems to be going about it in the best way possible – ask for input right from the start from ALL the groups affected and involved in health care. He's set himself a very short time limit – it may take more than 1 year to craft the entire new health system, but I applaud him for taking on this monumental task so early in his Presidency. I only hope that the Republicans really will work BI-PARTISANLY with the Democrats and all the other interest groups that have a stake in this, and a really excellent health plan will emerge that covers ALL Americans.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  130. Rob Winnipeg

    I believe Jack there is not only the political will but the Dems have a majority. They have also been attempting to tie it into the Economic Crisis, which if you spend time researching, makes some sense.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  131. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    He can succed by building a national consensus. By having open discussions with the public. Working behind closed door will not do. Nowadays, people are savy enough to know that insurance company bureuocrats are far more dangerous to the public health than government bureuocrats. The insurance companies deny all treatment to "insure" that the shareholders get their share of your money. The government workers will be more likely to rubberstamp everything and anything at tax payers expense. When it is more profitable to let us die than to treat us, as it is now, it is time to wrest control from the profiteers.
    President Obama will suceed as he always does, by telling it the way it is.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  132. Charles-NJ

    He probably can't.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  133. Barbara - NC

    Big difference. The Clintons presented a Bill.

    Obama is asking all concerned to give their input for the Bill. Much more finesse. Who will vote against what they contributed to?

    March 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  134. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    The biggest difference between Hilary's time and now is that there is now a majority of Americans with the "entitlement mentality." Obama will be able to push threw anything he wants, regardless of how ridiculous it is.
    I'll support national health care if Obama allows me to opt out, not tax me for it because I opted out, and excludes the 25 million illegal aliens that are sucking the health system dry.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  135. Mike, FL


    Its Called control of Senate and House , after 2010 election!!

    March 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  136. Jay-San Antonio

    Not only work with congress, but also work with States. One of the best ways to do it is to have states offer an expanded medicaid program on a sliding scale basis for the working poor, and self employed. If they can buy into their State run medicaid program based upon their W-2 wages and do so on sliding scale basis with Federal Established minimum guide line then everyone is sure to be covered without the Federal Government being directly involved. States could fund from Government funded mandates each state contrinbution from the fed would be based upon a formula that tkes into consideration population and regional health costs. Finally; states could also create a 1% sales tax added onto the State Sales tax system, along with the individual paying in monthly premium and have enough to fund the program. So in short, Everyone pays, it provides care for everyone, without Nationalizing the system.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  137. michael LV,NV

    Are you kidding Hillary Clinton's health care plan is way better than Obama's. Hillary's plan failed because the Republicans in Congress
    shot it down. Obama's plan will go through because this time there
    are more Democrats in Congress.

    The real question is where is Obama going to get the money to
    reform health care ?

    March 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  138. Irv Lilley

    Jack, Obama can succeed if he doesn't force universal health , or
    socialized medicine . he needs to show that true change can be made without resorting to universial health care.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  139. Dennis North Carolina

    bring it to congress now.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  140. Kevin , Monticello FL

    Well Jack , The Pres is right this time....the status quo is Unacceptable! Working class folks should have access to the same healthcare policies as Government big shots. Period. Premiums should be affordable , and those who are low income as on disability, should still recieve quality healthcare. Too long have the rich had healthcare and the rest of us been told fork out 10000 bucks or let your teeth fall out. The only exception to this rule should be Illegal aliens...........if youre not a citizen, sorry no benefits!

    March 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  141. Ronin

    We all like he sound of getting something for nothing... Free, free, free... Who does not like to receive something for FREE?

    That is what is being implied. BUT, we all know that NOTHING is ever FREE...

    The price of what he is trying to sell is the cost of Capitalism.... What we will be getting is a whole lot of SOCIALISM... PRICE CONTROLS... INCREASED TAXES... REGULATIONS... LOSS OF FREEDOM... LOSS OF CHOICE... Just you watch...

    Where did he get that bogus 48 million number from? Does it include ILLEGAL ALIANS? Does it include people who CHOOSE NOT TO SPEND THEIR MONEY ON INSURANCE? WILL THEY BE FORCED TO BUY INTO THIS PROGRAM? Will they have the choice to opt out without penalty?

    The only way to increase availably is to increase supply NOT to RATION. If there is rationing– Who chooses your options, A GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRAT?

    If they decide you are too fat... Do they then get to control what you eat? How much you get to eat? After all you are in THEIR insurance plan... Are all our Medical Records then available to BIG BROTHER? One more thing to control our lives with...

    We should be wary of the FREEDOMS we will be giving up to get this perceived benefit of SOCIALISM...

    Our future is at stake... Choose wisely.

    March 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  142. David

    That's a long row to hoe but I'm praying he can.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  143. ben

    ben from stockton, calif this health care proposal by president will hopfully keep their employees from losing coverage . employers pay an anormous amount amount to keep even their key people. a catastrofic illness could sink homeowners even more. even workmans compensation is terribly expensive for small business owners..i know ,,, i worked for a small business company..pray that obama and clinton can implement a plan that helps a lot of folks

    March 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  144. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Just by being Open and Honest with everyone concern.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  145. Bob


    Very simple answer just keep the Clinton's out of it. Hillary had her shot now let's give President Obama his chance. The president is an intelligent person and a very articulate speaker plus he's a good multi-tasker. Hillary and bill had too much personal stuff going on anyway. I voted for President Obama (I’m an independent) so I say give the guy a chance.

    New York city

    March 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  146. Jim in Lakeland, FL

    President Obama's willingness to include everyone in the dialog is a major plus. You can't always get what you want, but at least you're going to be heard. Isn't that refreshing? Hillary's efforts were seen as monolithic and the time wasn't right, but perhaps now everyone will work toward the goal and if not, let's vote them out and get people in those seats to get the job done.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  147. Karen-Missouri

    First of all, I loved the open forum Obama is using to get feedback from everyone involved, industry, Republican/Democrat, citizens. That just may be the ticket to getting a consensus. Those lawmakers who are up for re-election next year should be voted out if they aren't going to help with SOLUTIONS...not just obstructionism. The time to change healthcare has never been more important than now. Obama is doing everything he can...now it's up to those obstructionist Republicans to do some real work for a change instead of acting like Limbaugh's puppets.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  148. RSB

    Jack, as you remember, 15 years ago the Republicans were a united, well-organized machine. That is why they were able to gain control of the Congress 2 years into the Clinton Administration and eventually block the Clinton's proposed Universal Healthcare bill. However, now the Republican party is a mere shadow of its former glory, its base divided on social and fiscal issues and lacking any solid leadership. This following a Republican presidency that had the lowest approval rating since approval ratings were kept. With their party in shambles, the Republicans will not be a viable opponent to the Democrats this time around. Roland (St. George, UT)

    March 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  149. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I don’t know how, Jack, but I hope he succeeds! He’s going about it the right way, at least, consulting with a wide range of professionals in the field.

    I would quibble with people who insist we have the best health care system in the world. As you said, it is the most expensive, but certainly not the best. If it were the best, we wouldn’t rank the lowest among the industrialized countries on four major aspects of healthcare: we have the highest infant mortality rate, the highest rate of diabetes, the highest rate of heart disease, and the highest rate of stroke. We also pay the highest rate for presciption medicines. It is appalling.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  150. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    President Obama would get all the votes he needs to pass health care reform if he announced the health care coverage provided to congress by we the people is canceled.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  151. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    He can succeed by sticking to his guns and remembering who he's doing this for.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  152. Tim in Texas

    He's approaching the problem in a brilliant way – focusing on both lowering costs and providing wider coverage. The greatest resistance will come from those republicans who are opposed to raising taxes - by a whopping 3% on the wealthiest 5% of Americans. It seems that it never is recalled that when Reagan was elected, taxes on the wealthy were at about 75% of their incomes. It made sense then to lower taxes. Now it doesn't. When the wealthy complain that their taxes are too high, they might want to consider who paid for their education, for their national defense, and for the roads and bridges vital to their increase in wealth. Without the wealthy having contributed more in the past, those who are wealthy today wouldn't be wealthy.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  153. Ryan

    He will succeed because he has the right people behind him. The real people in control of America have realized that they can have even more control if there is a universal health care system. This is the same reason Obama is pushing for medical records to be on online. So his buddies can access anything they want about us without very much resistance. Laugh now but some of us know how to think outside the old black and white and watch our liberties and privacy go down the drian in the coming years. The crazy thing is they are all convincing us that it's for our own good. Wake up America!

    March 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  154. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    First tell the truth we do not have a healthcare system we have and insurance system! Next we could reduce our healthcare cost by getting rid of Medicaid, Medicare and Personal insurance for individuals, a single payer system is a start but unless you allow people to go to any doctor they want to go to it will not work, unless we adopt a system that is similar to Canada, France, and England healthcare systems. Insurance companies we do not need, they are the gate keepers that drive up cost and deny care when they full know that people need it.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  155. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    By doing what he is doing now – gathering members of both parties, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, etc. under the same roof to try and work out a system that will work for everyone and bringing it out into the open to the American people. I give him a lot of credit for doing this. I only hope that he succeeds and quiets the nay sayers.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  156. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    We do not have a healthcare system we have and insurance system, the unwritten laws in insurance companies is to deny people the care they need up to ten times before they even consider looking at the illnesses or diseases that a person may have. It has come down to this, without more sick people they would not have the funds they need to continue to increase their profits! As long as our so called healthcare system is profit driven all efforts to fix it will fail, and the black hole that has become the current fake healthcare system will continue to devourer a never ending amount of our country's money, and hurt our ability to compete in world markets and sell the products that our country produces.

    March 6, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  157. pete in ny

    Great. Obama's initial $600 bn funding is pure fiction . Among other things he says hew will reduce medi care reimbursement but already it is difficult to find a doctor who will take medi care patients. Once he gets his way we can reduce the number of doctors like Canada and the UK and older people can learn to live with their illness just like Tom Daschle says in his book,

    March 6, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  158. Joan, Orange County

    Yes! Then, most people had health insurance and the problem didn't touch very many people. Now, everyone knows someone whose life has been adversely affected by either the lack of health insurance, or by the very high costs of health care.
    The lobby to reform the current situation has had 16 years to change public opinion, and they've been very successful!
    My husband & I own a small business. This year our business revenues declined, our insurance costs doubled and now we and our two youngest children are among the millions without health insurance. One month our gross revenues would not have paid the new, increased monthly insurance costs!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  159. Jeff

    Did I really hear you say today (regarding CNN's Dr. Gupta) something like, "He's too classy to work in a government job anyway."??? I don't disagree with complementing Dr. Gupta's as classy, but thanks for defaming all government workers by implying they aren't. Is there any doubt why the media is considered "elitist"?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  160. Pamela from Germany

    Obama will be much more successful because many more people listen and trust him. Hillary was (and is) way too polarizing and a lot of people do not give her as much respect as Obama has gotten.

    And with the way the economy is going, I think people will be much more receptive of having a "safety net" in the form of guaranteed healthcare.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  161. Lynda in NC

    Obama can succeed by listening to healthcare professionals who are on the front lines. Leave the insurance and pharmaceutical companies out of the talks – all they want is profit, not good efficient patient care. Do we ask the textbook and pencil makers about education reform? No we go straight to the teachers!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  162. Ed from Montana

    Nationalize Congress?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  163. William Kervick

    President Obama will not succeed in fixing America's Health Care problem while he continues to assume that Health Insurance is synonamous with Health Care. The insurance companies are NOT the solution, they are the problem.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  164. jose serrano

    There is no better time than now to put aside partisan politics and get to the business of developing a health care system that benefits everyone. We can do better and our citizens deserve it. With that said with all the special interests on this issue, it is going to be a difficult task.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  165. Clark

    in the early 1980's Congress decided to decrease the cost of health care by mandating payments and care be tied to DRGs (diagnosis related groups) .... it didn't work.

    if the system was truly a competitive process and not one that depended on deep pockets (whether the pockets are the governments or insurance companies) .... then the cost of health care would decline.

    national universal health care will bankrupt our country and/or result in rationing .... and the only people that will "win" are the politicians.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  166. steve paul,from Owerri Nigeria

    Jack,we thank God now the Clintons are now in Obamas boat,the future will tell,lets hope for the hopes.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  167. Gloria

    It seems to me that the best healthcare reform is to make healthcare itself affordable so we don't NEED the insurance. Simple as that.

    Gloria from Maine

    March 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  168. Gary LeDrew

    Health Care First He and the rest of you should Ask a Canadian
    a few questions like:
    Do you get to choose your own doctor?
    Of course.
    How is paid for?
    Employer, employee contributions and taxes.
    Do you mind paying higher taxes to pay for universal health care
    Of course not.
    Are there longer waiting times?
    I have waited longer in the States.
    Who is the most important Canadian?
    Tommy Douglas (Keefer Sunderland's Grandfather)
    what did he do?
    He introduced universal healthcare in Canada.
    Ask an American Politician
    Why are 3rd parties making profits and deciding on treatments?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  169. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    He will succeed by going to the people of America. Showing them how this will help them and asking them to inform their representatives to vote for the plan.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  170. Anne Anderson

    Jack, let's cancel the health care for life for our public servants until they come up with a way to give healthcare for life for all of We, The People!

    I'll bet they'll figure a way before the end of the year!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  171. Herman

    By being President ,rather than married to the President.
    Fresno, CA

    March 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  172. James

    Sadly, Jack, he won't. There are too many entrenched special interests. His effort will, however, illustrate how powerful these forces really are.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  173. Gloria Steinberg

    Of course he will succeed. He is the One. You know Jack, the Savior. The Messiah. God's gift to all humanity. Of course he will succeed, at the expense of this nation. At a cost that no other President would ever have spent..... the complete destruction of our country. He ignores the economy and as Rahm Emanuel stated, is getting passed what he wants without regard to anything else...Don't waste a crisis!!

    Our country suffers and degrades into a communist type system of big government, and all the while he's fiddling like Nero.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  174. Nick D. Neighbour

    Simple! He is NOT!
    Once again, he is going to be persuaded by the Drug Companies, Insurance Companies and, every OTHER Vested Interest Group and, NOTHING will CHANGE!!
    "Socialist"? He is about as "Socialist" as Attila the Hun!!
    Nick. N.
    Pasadena. CA.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  175. Patrick Jean Baptiste North Miami Beach, Florida

    Please Jack read my answer. Obama can succed where the Clintons failed by bringing together all the stakeolders to the table leaving no one behind in his effort to reform the country's healthcare. It will have to be a bipartisan solution or no solution at all.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  176. michael armstrong sr.

    hears one way he can crack down on military pricing on medical supplys 5.00 for a band aid is alittle much among other things maybe people should take there own stuff with them when they go to the emergency room.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  177. Jill Ramsey

    Just keep health reform simple !!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  178. Joe


    President Obama must take his appeal to the American people, which is what he is learning from the obstructionists. He must make a decision regarding what plan is best for the American people and then push it through Congress (good or bad, it will be a plan and can be amended later after we learn from experience) ; otherwise, the current bureaucracy will prevent a man with sincere intentions from helping the American people.

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  179. Stephen Becker

    The one glaring omission in the Obama vision for health care reform is "Health Freedom", a concept the holistic community, Ron Paul, Libertarians, and many others enthusiastically embrace. Yet, the media either does not know what the words mean or they are purposely keeping the concept from the masses. Please explore "Health Freedom" on the air, Jack. It is the key to a real reduction in health care costs and an improvement in national health.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  180. Maryanne, West Chester, PA

    I feel certain that the health care plan will succeed because it is costing the nation too much not to succeed. I work for a very small business and last year we spent 20% of our income on health care premiums. We ended the year with a $60,000 loss largely due to shipping costs and insurance premiums. We tried everything we could to contain costs but with decreasing sales we certainly could have used those premiums!

    I have friends who have been let go and cannot afford the cobra premiums for a family of 3. It is easy to lose faith when you are shoveling deeper in the hole. We need to be able to at least afford to go to the doctor when we are sick.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  181. Eddie, Gary In.

    The president can succeed by continuning to bring facts and common sense to the table of public opinion, even fools and the party of No will relent when their jobs are on the line

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  182. Thomas

    He needs to listen to everyone not just the Democratic congress!! It will take both sides as well as the American people to come to a health care compromise!!! Don't allow politics to destroy progress again!!!!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  183. Jim/NC

    I don't believe the American people are that stupid to go along with universal healthcare. Just take a look at Canada and England...please research this because the nightmare's are many. I don't want the government taking the lead in my health.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  184. ihek, NY

    The answer to our health care problem is really simple. There are too many players in it now. Remove all these greedy middle men and women and the road to reform will clear up. It has proven unprofitable to invest our medicare tax money and social security contributions at AIG and the banks only to see them needing a bailout. It has proven more risky than beneficial to keep happening. I have an idea of how to develop a workable universal health care coverage for all.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  185. Karl from SF, CA

    The Clinton plan was pre-packaged and delivered to Congress without them having input. Not the way to go. This will involve all interested parties and will hopefully catch us up with the rest of the civilized world that already has universal health car. Businesses have left this country for that reason. Our health care is way over priced and severely lacking in care provided.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  186. Dee in Florida

    President Obama can succeed in health care reform the exact same way he succeeded in getting elected–grassroots efforts!

    And this the horrible economic situation is on his side. As more and more Americans lose their jobs and health care becomes a major issue to them, their opinions on some form of national health care may be closer to what the President wants.

    As people learn they either have no health care or learn that the cost of keeping health care under COBRA is putting their families at risk, they will be more likely to get on board with health care reform.

    If President Obama will utilize the same grassroots organizers and workers who helped him become President, to go out and speak to groups and communities being most hard hit by loss of health care, they will have a powerful voice.

    Then, they must be sure that the elected representatives, both Democrat and Republicans HEAR THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE!

    It can be done. It will require work, but as with other issues, if the PEOPLE speak loudly enough, they will be heard in DC.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  187. Joe

    President Obama can succeed where Hillary and Bill failed by not wasting U.S. citizens tax dollars on healtcare for ILLEGAL aliens. The constitution doesn't guarantee U.S.citizens free healthcare and welfare, so why do our tax dollars get spent even in a small way on supporting ILLEGAL aliens. We can't even provide free healthcare for our own citizens , why is the government determined to give free healthcare to those who don't deserve it???!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  188. Michelle

    Use a system that's already in place: MEDICARE. Expanding Medicare would not only be cost-effective (because there are no overhead fees; it's a simple fee-for-service-like plan), but it would actually stabilize the Medicare system by spreading the insurance risk among the young, old, healthy, and unhealthy.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  189. Carolyn in Ga.

    Simple answer: DEGREE OF PAIN. Also, I must point out that it is wrong to say Hillary Clinton did not have public input. I'm old enough to remember as if yesterday, the White House lawn health meetings, with public health horror stories televised nationally. People were bleeding/hurting then. Now..they are not only bleeding; they are hemorrhaging.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  190. Conna Weiner, Switzerland

    Hillary Clinton failed on health care in part because she tried to conduct her deliberations in secret. The complex interplay of interests groups involved in what is one of the largest and most complex areas of the US economy needs to be met head on. Obama is an excellent consensus builder and would try to include the key players. But now he may be defeated by the cost of what he wants to accomplish. Can we afford this effort now in an economic crisis? Hard to say.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  191. Jan Illinois

    if anyone disagrees that there is no problem with our health care system, try spending just one night in the hospital, guaranteed you will pay for it for years. It is crazy expensive.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  192. Ed

    Give U.S. citizens illegal alien healthcare and and illegals what the VA dishes out. That would scare at least half of them out of the country.

    Brunswick, OH

    March 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  193. Cody

    The time has come and this time it will happen. Every other developed country in the world has some form of universal health care and they all (yes all of them) spend less on health care itself than the United States. Some people may not agree with universal health care but I believe health care is a right that every person should have.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  194. Robert Ford

    One has to wonder why we are trying to re-invent the wheel. There are numerous successful universal health care systems around the world. Maybe none of them are perfect, but they all seem to function as well or better than ours.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  195. Ralph Peterson

    ISucceed? A success for Obama would mean a loss for all americans. When are you going to wake up? Socialism has arrived in the U.S. in full force. Look at all the european bums that use their social net just to stay home and stop working, just let the government pay for their health care, and daily expenses, aka unemployment. Health care for every american would mean, more jobs being lost, higher taxes for everybody including the poor. You think that things will improve in the next 4 years? Then all of you are dilusional.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  196. spinns

    jack simple .see the clintons only do deals where they can make money on it ,like nafta and cafta.and if they cant make money on it ,they wont do it.i belive obama is different .he has a agenda ,and mission he wants to acomplish .and making money is not part of the agenda.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  197. Leonard Cohen

    Hillary Clinton's problem was that she took an "I know it all" attitude when she crafted her disastrous health care plan. Barack Obama, on the other hand, as with everything else he does, is seeking out the best advice available, and will look at this issue from all possible angles.
    Clinton also adopted an "all or nothing" approach and wound up with nothing. Obama would likely be amenable to an incremental approach, because he has always been a realist who understands that there are often great forces that present strong resistance to any kind of change. Incrementalism is the understanding that you get done now what you can even if the job is incomplete, and then re-visit it periodically as conditions permit.

    Leonard Cohen
    Wantagh, New York

    March 6, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  198. Chris T

    Hillery was never president of the united states.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  199. Kris Percel

    IMO, the President needs to:
    1. Continue keeping health care reform out in the open
    2. Tell the public exactly what the new health care program means
    3. Hold its opponents' feet to the fire

    Good luck to him.


    March 6, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  200. Miss Lead


    Times are different now. One of the most expensive programs of the US government is Health Care. Also, Democrats are a majority in both houses, and the American people is ready to give President Obama the support he needs to make it possible.

    L. Oneto

    March 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  201. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    The reason the Clinton Health plan did not succeed is because Newt Gingrich and the other GOPs where intent on getting Bill Clinton to fail.
    I'm sure you are aware of that unless you were living under a rock.
    Hillary's plan was a good one since she had been working on Health Care since she was in her early twenties.
    If Pres.Obama succeeds it is because most of his cabinet is made of of Pres. Clinton's cabinet and because people who will try to make it fail are afraid of being called racist.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  202. Greg - North Carolina


    I don't think the question should be "How can Obama succeed where the Clintons failed".

    What about Obama's statement that the only option that is not on the table is maintaining the "status quo"?

    Does that mean that anyone who is opposed to nationalized health care will not be heard?

    Sure sounded that way to me. It is one of the most socialist/fascist comments I have heard thus far from our new president.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  203. johnchristopher

    Obama will succeed because, he is in the number one position to make it happen – universal health care...He educated himself on health care in foriegn countries and taken a solemn tone; suggesting that a country as great as this must take care of its people. Greatness is measured by what you give, not what you take.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  204. Kay London

    Very simple, don't do what the Clintons did.
    Also, Obama is smart, good with words and good at this washington game. The clintons never had washington experience and i feel that hampered the reform.
    Also i think by the end of the year the republicans will have completely self-destructed

    March 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  205. Abbie Herrick

    He can succeed in making everything public and telling the stories of real people. Healthcare is much worse than it was in the Clinton's time. My mother should have had the heart valve operation that Barbara Bush and Robin Williams had but she couldn't get it on Medicare and now she's gone. How many more people need to die before things change?

    Manchester, NH

    March 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  206. janice kirksey

    take all the government provided health care from the house, senate and congress, let them replace their coverage with no more income than the average middle class has to spend on insurance and lets see if they think they have enough health care to cover anything that comes up. my guess is that only then will we see true reform.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  207. Paula Miles

    I guess you feel that he can't possibly succeed, particularly if he involves government workers. Tonight your comment that Sanjay Gupta was "too classy to be a government worker" was extremely demeaning and well...non classy. You seem to admire Michele Obama, yet one of her main goals is visit government agencies and their "non-classy" employees and to tell them how important their jobs are to our country. How about re-thinking this a bit, Jack?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  208. Bill Boccalatte

    Obama can succeed by borrowing the money at near zero percent just as he has for the investment bankers and the automobile makers.
    That would have the way of our forefathers. Why discriminate?

    That is the only way to put the country back in order.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  209. Andrew Bukaty

    President Obama's outreach to all stake holders in the health care debate may be our best hope to find a solution to the problem of having affordable, universibly accessible health care. While no solution will satisfy all of the entrenched special interests the American people are tired of hearing we can't solve our problems and so is the present administration. Failure is not an option here and we will not fail because of the transparency and openness of the process.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  210. Isabel , AL

    The people weren't ready when Hillary boldly took healthcare where it never had gone before. Everyone was also shocked that the mere "wife" of the president would even attempt taking on such a controversial issue-"why, nobody elected her! How dare she!" was what I was hearing all around me at the time. Now when many people find themselves without healthcare coverage or paying way too much of their hard earned money for it, we are finally ready to enter the 21st century with the rest of the developed world. Universal healthcare–bring it on!!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  211. Walt Rullo

    How 'bout if we cut off the $14,000 monthly pay checks that Congress members get? Tell 'em to get something done or get out of the way and let someone who knows how, do their jobs. These insulated, prima donnas in Congress deserve nothing less than an economy sized kick in their collective butt. They're worthless...

    March 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  212. Gregg Bracke

    Much has changed since Clinton was shot down by the special interests of the AMA, Pharmaceutical Industry and Insurance Companies. We are now paying the most for Healthcare and getting less than third world quality. Just by removing the obscene Healthcare Insurance Companies profits out of the picture we would save as a nation over 30%. I just watched “Sicko” for the first time and got really mad to know that some of the Hero’s of 9/11 had to go to Cuba to receive the medical care that they need.

    Healthcare is a social cost and needs to shared by all through our taxes. It works well with better results for the majority of the world; we can make it work here. We can no longer afford to do less than provide universal coverage for every American.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  213. Vincenzo

    Mr. Cafferty, We could start by mandating that insurance companies charge their customers based on their habits – ie smoker/nonsmoker, drinker/nondrinker, obese/trim etc through blood tests and physicals – a normal procedure during regular check-ups anyway. The older generations could supplement the coverage through medicare/medicaid. As far as the high cost of medications – open up the market so that we may make purchases from our friendly, northern neighbors. Once the patents expire, it is fair game.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  214. Oscar Sanderson

    He will not succeed, because special interest, mainly the insurance company's, have our congress in their back pocket. Only by ousting them (the insurers not our Congress), which would save 30% of every health care dollar, do you even have a chance at a health care system that would work. The American people deserve the same health care that our politicians have...at the same price.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  215. Carolyn in Houston

    Hi Jack,
    President Obama can succeed where the Clintons failed if he does what he says he would do. Health care reform legislation will be an open, transparent process. There can be no back room deals made with the big moneyed interests who vow to fight health care reform with every dime they own.

    That said, all sides must be brought into the conversation to give their input and rationale for their pros and cons. It would be icing on the cake if the hearings and meetings were televised on CSPAN. We the American people can see who is saying what about the issue. Politicians won't be able to get away with saying one thing behind closed doors but something quite the opposite in public.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  216. Bob from Minnesota

    Jack it will succeed this time because the American pubic & the medicle profession knows it just has to happen somethine & now is right time!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  217. lynn

    When did America and its media become such a pessimistic, out for themselves group of people?? I am becoming more and more ashamed of America with every selfish, shortsighted comment.

    Perhaps if all the naysayers from media pundits and elected officails should give up their "socialized" health care and then all your "it's too hard" and i"t's too expensive" would have some validity!!

    Perhaps CNN should report on how much health care costs the taxpayers for all the elected officials...what is put in for them and what do they actually put in out of their own salaries!!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  218. Chris

    Here is the short answer. There are too many baby boomers!!!!
    Just as in the financial world, this collapse is simply a numbers game.
    Answer: Eliminate employer sponsored group plans and mandate that everyone get on individual health plans immediately following college and/or high school. The problem is the preexisting conditions. Self employment is not an option for many of the boomers as they all got diagnosed with some sort of condition while they were on their group plan (through work). Now many have lost their jobs and individual plans are not an option as the guarantee issue plans are expensive and coverage is very limited.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  219. Ellyn

    The Obama Administration HAS to succeed. A failure in health care reform would be disasterous to this country. I believe sucess is not as dependent on what the Obama administration does as what the Republican party does. The unofficial leader of the Republican party (Rush LImbaugh) has publically stated he wants President Obama to fail. That mind set is unfathomable to me. But there are people who will jump on the wagon with him and go along with whatever he (Rush) says. The Cliniton Administration failed at healthcare reform because the Republican party's mission was to ensure it's failure,. Sucess now is dependent on everyone, or at least a majority, realizing that working together to reform healthcare is a benefit to everyone and a necessity to the foundation of this nation.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  220. Mike, Nevada City, California

    Jack, The money we pay into the system must go directly and only to the health care providers! Once we have electronic medical records for all Americans, how difficult would it be to set up electronic fund transfer to your local physicians group and community hospital? Ooops, no more need for Medical Insurance because we are automatically supporting and financing our local health care system. A local board of directors, elected by the community, could oversee the local health care system operating budgets and then set the rates for the community. Ooops, no more need for Corporate Health Care Systems... Is this too simple?
    For example, if local docs and hospital needed $40 million annual budget and it served 92,000 people that would be @ $1800 year for a family of 4 which equates to $150 a month per family. Even if you double this example to $80 million it would be $300 / month. I now pay $465 a month for $5,000 deductible medical insurance plan. Is this too simple?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  221. David from Atlanta

    Hey Jack:

    President Obama needs to continue the open dialogue that was on display at the Health Care Summit this week, thus leading the American public into a more nuanced understanding of the issues. The result will be an irrefutable buy-in by voters, impervious to ad-campaigns that attempt to maintain the status quo.


    March 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  222. Oscar Sanderson

    It's doubtful he can, I didn't here of anyone from Canada or any of the many other countries that have successful health care systems being invited to the party! But he invited the insurers, imagine that!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  223. Candace McCall

    If we are going to pay for each others' health, PLEASE GET IT RIGHT! This is insane, how can we ever turn back, undo what is done, if mistakes are made? It is a separate debate from the stimulus – and it needs time to marinate in thoughts and comments, instead of an ambush like we taxpayers feel when we only learn what is going on after it is too late to react.?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  224. Jessica from Louisiana

    President Obama has already shown a solid resolve with regard to his policies, and the path he intends to head down.
    Continued determination, and dedication will be required...and a stacked house will help as well.
    Let us also not forget, Hillary was not in a presidential position.
    We should not be surprised to see President Obama show his veto card.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  225. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    Humans are funny until they are about to lose everything they will not change, I guess they are starting to get the point now that their lives are falling apart, their money is gone, and they have no healthcare if they get sick. The lies told by the Republicans in the past have completely fallen apart and people are starting to see the light that people come before money!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  226. Ethan, CO

    He needs to do what he's been doing: working for us. From day one, this man has gone to bat for the American people. It will take tireless commitment, and letting congress know that he's got the weight of millions of voters behind him. There is only one force stronger than the lobbyists and special interest groups, and that's us, because there are a lot more of us than there are of them, and we're a heck of a lot angrier.

    Voters: Represent!

    March 6, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  227. Marilyn

    I have been a Midwife and Health Educator for over 30 years. There are few jobs available educating people about health choices because all the money goes to drugs. A planned home birth with an experienced midwife is a low cost safe option that people are afraid to choose due to a lack of funding and support from the Health Care Industry. In the election before last all the politicians could talk about was funding drugs for senior citizens. Hardly anyone asked "Why do they need all these drugs? " Today CNM news announced on the revolving news that every 30 seconds someone goes backrupt due to medical bills. The canary has died and PresidentObama is smart enough to know this. My husband says that America dosn't care about black and white. America cares about green. If this is true we will get Universal Health Care because reform of the system is cost effective and it is also the ethical thing to do.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:36 pm |

    Barack Hussein Obama won’t succeed in implementing universal health care. The only thig he could could do is lobby Republican Senators to vote for it. Otherwise, it won't have a chance. A poll conducted by CNN Lou Dobbs with this question “are the American people outraged President Obama is looking for advice on health care reform from the same Washington lobbyists he promised to curb? 89% said yes. As we all know, Lou Dobbs is from CNN. Apparently Lou Dobbs is exposing Obama for the corrupt president he is. Obviously, he agrees with me. The health care issue is one of the programs Obama wants to take us toward socialism. There should be a health care program but not as extensive as Obama is proposing. I would suggest a free preventative care system with free prescriptions. With that in place, the poor working and middle class would have a greater chance for diagnosing an illness before it becomes serious. Then the American people could buy a supplemental health insurance policy to cover for any serious health issues. That would be a more manageable and would cost considerably less than universal health care

    March 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  229. Allen in Hartwell GA

    I doubt it Jack: there still are too many people in this country who think that we have the best health-care system in the world. We do have the most expensive health-care system, and we do have the highest quality health-care system, but this does not make it better. As long as the rich people of the world are coming here to get treatment they can't get elsewhere as fast as they want, our health-care system will remain as it is – great for those who can afford it.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  230. Lisa, San Jose, California

    The health insurance industry has a profit margin (*after* paying claims) of 20%. Hospitals and doctors have profit margins ranging from 1-3%. If you want to save money, it's pretty clear who needs to take the cuts.
    Insurance profits amount to reaching into the pockets of the gravely ill and handing the money to Wall Street investors.
    I invite you to verify those percentages.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  231. Chrissie

    Hi Jack,
    I think President Barack Obama should get his priority straight by fixing the housing, jobs, and healthcare first, then focus on all the other stuff later. Georgia has over 400,000 people unemployed what are we supposed to do?

    Don’t get me wrong we love him we vote for him and his family.

    Chrissie from Georgia

    March 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  232. David Morris

    My wife and I are Americans who live in Japan, where we have a wonderful, single payer system (think Medicare for all) National Health Insurance System. Everyone is covered, payment is based on your income...not your medical condition, and NO ONE goes bankrupt dues to medical bills. We can see any doctor, anytime we want, waiting times are much less than in the US, the standard of care is wonderful, medicines, mental health and dental are included. Yesterday my wife had a half-hour consultation with the leading neurologist in our city...our bill? $8.10! So can Obama succeed in reforming health care in the US? Yes...IF the American people are told the truth about just how much better medical care is the rest of the industrialized world. No that Sanjay Gupta is out of the running, how about Michael Moore for Surgeon General?

    March 6, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  233. AB--Michigan

    Because this time the people who were strongly against it , can see
    the problem already with how it has affected many Americans. It
    takes a crisis to hit them over the head, before they wake up that
    it is really happening.A few only could have thought about it then
    like Hilary who had the intelligence to try to fix it.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  234. Nancy

    What does he have lose. It's not his health care that he has to worry about. He gets it free, we have to pay for ours. Why can't we have the coverage like Congress has? I understand it's great and without cost etc. for them. For us, we pay through the nose and every other orifice without getting much of the benefits.

    Nancy from Arizona

    March 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  235. Steve - Mich

    Would love them to. But nothing is a sure thing with the party of obstruction GOP having enough votes to keep moving like a mass of jello in the direction of BLOCKED!.

    The GOP and their sheep like supporters make every topic a potential failure.

    March 6, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  236. Bill Cook

    If 7000 people died flying every year, would you fly, if these people died because it kept a certain number of pilots employed, and there was a viable alternative. A certain invasive cardiac procedure does just that, and there is a cheaper, safer, and within percentage points as accurate procedure. Congress does not have a lock on politics, the medical profession has plenty of it. I would enlist healthcare professional in the trenches, not just docs and nurses, like me, to give them the bottom line on what really is going on in healthcare.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  237. Michael Rowles

    Maybe the U.S should copy the heath care systems of Australia, Great Britain, Canada and other Developed nations and use them as a scaffolding to model a US system. As seen in Sicko over nations do not get the problem in the U.S as the government listens to the people that it is governing than listen to the spokesmen of large companies that give them large amounts of funds. It also looks like time that the U.S needs a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  238. Joan: Burlington, VT

    Only if he can find a way for the American people to vote on it instead of the congress .

    March 6, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  239. John, Fayetteville, NY

    I could care less if we have the cheapest, the best, or the most available healthcare system in the world. The fact of the matter remains.....we as people of the United States are not "entitled" to healthcare in any way shape or form. If I am mistaken, then someone show me it in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.....it isn't there, so why do we continually try to put it in our society as a "right". Entitlements, which they really aren't, are the main items that are bankrupting this nation. The United States Government has never, ever, ever, ever, managed a system that has done what it was suppose to, never broke even, only went 2-5 times the budget. Lets look at the facts, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, FannieMae, FreddieMac, SallieMae, AmTrak, heck even the Postal Service.....not one entity has ever broke even. And, now, for some oddball reason, there are millions of you who believe they can get it right? Under what pretense?

    And, please tell me why you think you are "entitled" to this program as an American? And then tell me if you've ever read the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights?

    And, after all of that, please tell me why I have to pay for your healthcare? And while you're thinking of it, why has the insurance platform changed? It was suppose to be "EXACTLY LIKE CONGRESS and the SENATORS receive", now it's the equivalent of Medicare.......hmmmm, someone in the Whitehouse is snowballing Americans and for some reason you're accepting it.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  240. J A R

    I think for some people the price of health might be easier to fit in our
    budget if we could somehow eliminate all of the copays and the
    deductablels that are also attached.
    J A R

    March 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  241. IKONOS

    Prescription drugs cost lot more in US than they do in other countries and every one is aware of that but no one is asking why? Why do they cost more in US than in other countries when most of them are manufactured here and shipped to other countries? So its not because of the cost to make them. I think it is primarily because of the amount of money drug companies spend in advertising their products in US. Why do they need to advertise them to the general public who has no knowledge of their effectiveness or side effects? If only the companies can target their advertising to the doctors through other means instead of national advertising they can save ton of money and may be then prescription drugs will cost less.

    PS: Nothing against advertising over the counter drugs.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  242. William Kervick

    The health care industry should not be for profit just as the millitary should not be for profit. In providing for the common defence, the government uses the military to protect us agains invasion. I would argue that providing for the common defence includes defending the common American against disease and disorder. The military is the most socialized department of the government and so should be the medical system. Can you imagine fighting a war using an army provided by an insurance company? That is exactly what is wrong with our health care system.

    March 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  243. Joey Schumacher

    Americans enjoy a unique combination of capitalism and socialism. We believe everyone must have their essential needs met, but not everyone must have luxuries. What we disagree on is whether things should be treated as essential needs or as luxuries. Medical care is one of those things we disagree on. How much care is essential needed by every American? When does care spill over to become a luxury?

    March 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  244. Richard

    Hilary Clinton’s health reform would have been at least a step forward. Her program didn’t reach the action levels of our elected representatives for a number of reasons. Perhaps she didn’t have their attention being just the wife of the president.
    During his campaign President Obama promised health care to all Americans equal to all the Federal employees levels of care. Wouldn’t this be a blessing if it were to happen? The difficulty of his success lies with our elected representatives. Unfortunately, they are just not on the same page with the American people they represent. They have removed themselves from SS and implemented a more crafted retirement plan. Their health care plan is AAA + compared to any. Their serve one-term be fully vested, ‘Golden Parachute ’ retirement plan revels Wall Street twisters. They vote themselves cost of living raises in timely fashion. Ever wonder about the cost savings if cap’s were placed on these programs.
    President Obama in his six weeks seating is already experiencing hesitance and back-stepping from his own party yet alone the opposition. Even so, he will do more than Hilary Clinton’s health care plans. But a health care plan for all Americans equal to all Federal Employees levels,,, not likely.

    March 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm |

    I think Hillary did a great job trying to get us a healthcare program. I think our new President will get it through, if all of the Congress gets their head out of the sand and stand behind him. We are the ones that need good healthcare. The wealthy do not have to worry if they are sick. I'm not sure the Fatcats worry if the middle or needy people pass away from not having a dr.'s care. Go Obama and backers.

    March 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm |
  246. Maura Halligan

    You don't have enough space to list the many reasons our system is broken but I think our outmoded healthcare system was built with more of a focus on sickness than on wellness. And there are a whole bunch of special interests who do not want this focus to change.
    I am hoping our politicians, from red state and blue, stop grandstanding for the cameras and for their party leaders and start working for their people back home. If they don't make a serious attempt at solving this problem – shame on them. And if we continue to reelect the same "bad actors" as we always do (over 85% are usually reelected) SHAME ON US!!

    Maura Halligan Lindenhurst New York

    March 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  247. George Fulmore

    With all the gloom and doom in other areas, it seems like the time to make progress in national health care. It is obvious that the percentage of those insured is not being reduced under the private system. A national health care system would supplement the private one. Timing can be everything. It seems like it is the right time.

    March 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm |