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July 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How can Obama regain momentum on health care reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Health care reform took a serious hit last week; and the White House is going to need to find a way to get things back on track. Despite President Obama's lofty rhetoric and flowery speeches, divisions within the Democratic party are threatening to derail the centerpiece of his presidency.

The Senate won't be taking action until the fall; and it's not clear whether the House will act before its August break either.

The president also made matters worse by wading into the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates at his prime-time news conference. That put much of the focus during the later part of the week on racial issues - instead of health care.

More bad news for the president has come from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimates the health care plan supported by the White House would save almost no money over 10 years. They're talking about an outside panel that would decide what treatments would and would not be covered by Medicare.

Finally, most Americans are not in that big a rush to get health care passed.

A Gallup Poll shows that less than half of those surveyed - 41-percent - say health care reform needs to be passed this year. 30-percent say it should be done, but not necessarily this year... and 24-percent say there shouldn't be health care reform at all.

Here’s my question to you: What can President Obama do to regain momentum on health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Simon from Orlando writes:
I think the question of "should he" be answered first. That's what the general public seems to be wrestling with. There are too many questions regarding cost, implementation and effect that have not been addressed to the satisfaction of most citizens… He's not going to regain momentum until a clearer picture of what national health care really means emerges.

JC from Georgia writes:
He has to attack the tort and insurance abuse issues. As my doctor says, "There is no amount of your money I won't spend to keep me out of court."

Erik writes:
The president could regain momentum by explaining what is going to be in the reform… Give the people a detail or two to rally behind. President Obama is finding out a vague idea of reform isn't nearly as easy to gain support as a vague slogan of change.

Jerry from Iowa writes:
Nothing. Leave it alone, it is not a priority. How about finishing up one or both of our never-ending wars?

N. writes:
Simple, put "single-payer" on the table and:
1) Tell the insurance lobby to get lost
2) Start publicly embarrassing the senators and representatives that have been taking hand-outs to derail reform.

Lou writes:
He needs to get his message across better. I am for health care reform, but I have no idea what plans are on the table.

Richard from Colorado writes:
Speak softly, carry a big stick, and use it to beat the Blue Dogs and Republicans severely about the head and shoulders.


Filed under: Health care • President Barack Obama
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. elizabeth sacramento

    Pelosi needs to tell congress, "No vacation 'til we've agreed on healthcare." Obama needs to prod Democrats in their wimpy butts to support him, putting their entrenched lobbyist friends on notice that business as usual is over.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  2. Don (Ottawa)

    Easy Jack. He has to focus on the reform part. Let people know what goes on now, how much extra it costs and what he will do to fix it. The bottom line is, in the name of efficiency, the profit motive has got us into this mess. All health care facilities should be non-profit institutions. It basic logic that making money off of sick people is immoral.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  3. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    If Obama wants to regain momentum on health care reform, he needs to come up with a new health care system, from the ground up. Rehashing old ideas will only rehash the same objections that killed the idea to begin with.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  4. Jayne

    Somehow the discussion has moved from human suffering to dollars and cents. While we should all concern ourselves with the cost of this proposal, the immediate concern should be the people who are dying at the rate of 60 a day (up from 50 just a short time ago according to Physicians For a National Health Program) from lack of medical care because they are uninsured. This should not be a political issue, it should be a humanitarian issue and the first priority should be providing all of the American people with medical care. The President needs to have town meetings that will allow the victims of this nightmare to tell their horror stories to the nation . . . and there are millions of both victims and stories.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  5. cy gardner

    Perhaps he can call out the liars who are attacking his "plan" before the plan is even formed. The GOP is trotting out attacks from 15 years ago, attacking focus group tested phrases instead of actual proposals. Perhaps he can even appeal to the corporate owned mainstream media to stop helping the Republican attack on meaningless phrases like, "socialized medicine", "government bureacrats" and "rationed care" and point out that there is no finished plan. The GOP is pushing a big lie and the advertiser supported media are going along.... AGAIN!!! cy arlington, va

    July 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  6. joe m.

    probably the best idea would be to actually make this a real bi-partisan bill and have the republicans have as much of a say. by allowing the reps an equal seat on the table, he silences their complaints and objections. additionally, what may come out would be something that more americans would be willing to accept. and in pulling out a chair for the republicans the president can be seen as living up to his campaign rhetoric that he will not play the same old washington politics. the old practice of winner takes all approach has not worked as it is not working for democrats at this time.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  7. Matthew - Chicago, IL

    At this point, I don't think there's anything Obama can do. As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details – nothing is going to make the process any less tedious. It's now up to Congress to follow through.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  8. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    Simple, Jack... Come up with "fixes" for this broken system. You cannot have a "for-profit" system and have it work for the patients too.

    You first have to make the patients the #1 point of focus, then work backwards... Check with most of the doctors... My guess is that they didn't get into the medical field because they love people... They wanted to get rich.. and it's working. Of course, the insurance companies have to make their share, then the hospitals, then.... the lobbiests.. Everyone is someone's pockets...

    Our government cannot "FIX" anything.... They're lawyers, Jack.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  9. Victoria Anderson Seattle, Washington

    Just keep talkin' about it. Stand strong about the issue. Forget about the gallop polls and just keep your promise...

    July 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  10. Sandra - Temecula, CA

    He can throw out the lousy plan they are trying to push through and start over with a plan that delivers what he has promised....as I recall he promised Americans without Health care could sign up to be on his plan. Congress and Company, including the president should be mandated to be on the same plan they are passing off on us.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    There's nothing he can do. His plan doesn't seen to be that good and he has an entire political party devoted to derailing his plan regardless of whether or not it is a good plan. This whole debate is another fine example of how this country is doomed to destroy itself from within.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  12. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It would be good if he got some simple graphs and charts and showed the American people what has happened to health care cost and what is projected to happen in the future so we can all get the same picture. Then show us how he is going to pay for it over the next ten years, not just talk but show the specific data and then bribe all of the Senators and House Reps. This would be the usual Washington politics.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  13. David in San Diego

    He can't. The American people will again be screwed by insurance company lies on TV, by "free-markets-at-all-costs" pressure groups and legislators whose ideology brought us the financial crisis, and by Republican'ts in Congress who can't stand to see a liberal, Black President succeed where their patrician Bushwhackers failed.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Melissa

    He needs to get involved directly, instead of just handing it to Congress and letting them handle it. This is his baby and Congress is full of a bunch of whiny children who are only out for themselves.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    We middle class Americans need to start speaking up to our elected representatives, writing letters to our newspapers, and demonstrating in the streets if necessary. Americans need universal health care. The momentum has to come from us. If we don't care, why should anyone else.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  16. fred hughes

    The president can get control when he calls the so-called "blue
    dog" democrats out for what they really are. They are elected
    officials that care more about getting re-elected more than care about
    the people that elected them. The promise of a health care system
    is one of the reasons the democrats won the majority. They just
    need to do what we elected them to do.

    Fred

    Livingston, AL.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  17. Jay in Texas

    If President Obama wants his health care package to get back on track, he and his advisors need to hold town hall meetings across the country and talk about the specifics of his proposal. In other words, he needs to sell it to the American people and let them take his case to their congressmen and senators.
    Brownwood, Texas

    July 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  18. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    We'd all better hope the momentuncan be regained. Otherwise the GOP will wind the clock back to the 19th century yet again.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  19. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    He can better make the average American understand his plan. Not understanding just what will happen to my health care coverage if his plan goes through makes me take a step back an wonder if this is a good plan for everyone or just a certain few.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  20. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    He should do what he does so well, take it to the streets. If he gets on the stump in Avon, Maine, San Diego, California, and a few stops between, he'll have folks telling it like it is. Everyone who thinks, "It can't happen to me," will find out it is happening to folks just like them. We either have to swim for the shore or drown. We are over our heads.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  21. Tom

    He can't.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  22. JC in Georgia

    He has to attack the tort and insurance abuse issues. As my Doctor says, "There is no amount of your money I won't spend to keep me out of court."

    With that kind of cynicism operating within the medical care community, there's no hope of reducing costs without getting to the core issues of tort reform and insurance abuse.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  23. C - Burbank, CA

    Perhaps if he publicly announces that taking more time to get it right is in the best interest of the American people and that we need to feel comfortable with the plan. After all, this about us and not the politicians!

    July 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  24. Tina Texas

    Not if the Republicans have their way. I wish he would have had it better laid out and not rushed but everyone has to do things there way and lets get it right. If it does not pass this go you can kiss great healthcare goodbye.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  25. Phil, Georgia

    To keep momentum, the President only needs to keep shooting down the myths, scare-tactics, mis-information, that the Republicans keep trying to advertise. This is an issue that needs to be in full champaine mode in order to inform the most people as possible. When people know the truth, they tend to stand behind it.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  26. Simon/Orlando

    I think the question of "should he" be answered first. That's what the general public seems to be wrestling with. There are too many questions regarding cost, implimentation, effect, that have not been addressed to the satifaction of most citizens. And why aren't we getting the same coverage as congress? We're not good enough for that coverage? He's not going to regain momentum until a more clear picture of what National Healh Care really means emerges.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  27. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I don't think he can regain momentem on the on the giant health care scam.People of the United States have wised up to the golden words of the world's greatest snake oil salesman.Maybe if he told some details that would help, but that's not likely to happen,since his whole persona is nothing but fancy words and smoke and mirrors!

    July 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  28. Matt

    Jack

    One way – sign an Executive Order that takes away free health care for members of Congress and let them pay for it out of their salaries or better yet put them on Medicaid or Medicare so they can experience what many others have to go through for health care.

    Matt
    Rockford

    July 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  29. Richard B.C. Canada

    How about shifting the focus of debate to profits of pharmaceutical companies who manufacture medications that only mask symptoms without curing the illness while causing unpleasant side effects which requires additional otherwise unnecessary medications..

    July 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  30. Carl D.

    Jack,
    I know everyone needs healthcare, but come on, do you or anyone truly trust our government to get this right, these idiots screw up everything they touch. Besides, I want our government to explain how this will be paid for, I don't think they can.
    Carl in Illinois

    July 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  31. Ronald Holst

    Frankly I do not care if he gets health care or not as A disabled vet whose only health care options is the VA oops i mean sick care or more like it Death care . . This president has lost any support from me . When He refused to bring any investigation in to in possible war crimes committed by the last administration. Frankly I would rather Die In agony
    in the gutter than to get any health care from a country that rewards Crimianals instead of trying to bring them to justice .

    July 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  32. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    I think he has done all he can. From what has been disclosed about the current plan it's not good to go as is. Haste is the enemy of the short- sighted. Let's hope the bill that does pass is well thought out and read thoroughly by everyone that signs it.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  33. Larry

    The DNC put up a tweet page. People can now easily tell their Senators how they feel about health care reform. This was a brilliant idea.

    Larry
    Cincinnati, OH.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  34. M.L. Squier

    Insurance companies and lobbyists are in control of both political parties. The Congress has been bought. Forget about any real Health reform. It's time that to mov to Canada, France or Great Britain.

    El Paso, Texas

    July 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Adam Goldstein

    How about stop making physicians seem like the enemy by making statements like those made in his recent speech, accusing physicians of making treatment decisions based on how much money they can make. Physicians across our country have sacrificed years of their life so they can help our citizens to the best of their ability. How disappointing that President Obama would suggest that we lack morals to the point of performing unnecessary procedures on patients simply to make more money. If we want to reform the system, physicians, patients, and politicians need to work *together*, and trust each other, not view each other as the enemy. I would humbly request that President Obama says something more positive about our country's physicians at this next speech.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  36. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: How does one get momentum on health care reform with a price tag of trillions of dollars--–you don't-–it is too expensive and no one knows how it is going to be paid for. They say they do-–but let's face-–we haven't begun paying for all of the bailouts yet. It is like adding another political nail to a political coffin. The momentum is dead-just like healthcare reform--and what is needed is to bury it.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  37. Jim

    Jack,

    First and foremost, he should keep his cool and accept the fact that it's not going to happen by August. Then go out and campaign, doing what he does best, while congress is on its summer break. He needs to counter the conservative propaganda blitz that will be launched. He should give as many speeches and town hall meetings as his schedule and stamina will allow.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    July 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  38. Lynda from NC

    He can think up an idea that will decrease the cost of health care without putting the burden on tax payers. Make health insurance like car insurance, if you are a bad driver of your body you should have to take personal responsibility – and either take better care of yourself or pay higher premiums, instead of making all of the other people pay for your smoking, high fat, low veggie, low activity lifestyle. Preventable disease are the highest expenditure of health care dollars in the nation after all! Connect personal responsibility to people's wallets, and see how fast we all get healthier.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  39. Cora - Hot Springs Ark

    keep doing what he's doing , talking to the amercan people and keep being truthful with them, that's all any one can ask for.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  40. Dee in sunny Florida

    Perhaps Obama should do two things.

    First, start putting out the names of those who are stonewalling on the vote. (Those in Congress, lobbyists, corporations etc) It is possible to compromise, but to just do nothing is not in the best interests of the country and only will be good for special interests..

    Second, conduct his own poll and make known those who are not in favor of health care reform. We all need to know who those people are, so we can judge whether they are against health care reform because they really think it would hurt the country, or because they have enough money to pay for health care and really do not care about the rest of the people who do not.

    Maybe a couple of stories about those people would give a better picture to the country and to the Congress of who does not want the bill passed.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  41. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Go on the attack against the lies and distortions from the Republicans and the Health Care Industry. Stop allowing those who do not want any changes to dictate the agenda.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  42. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Yes, although he may need to look real hard at doing tax reform at the same time, both to decrease the filing burden on lower income Americans and put us on a track to a balanced budget.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  43. Thom Richer

    "If at first you don't succeed..." That is all he or anyone can do to ever get a change in health care. If he cannot gather his party together in solidarity, nothing will come of it...again.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  44. Tom from Philly

    form a new web site like twitter but where the 14,000 a day losing coverage can tell their stories and then cover it 24/7 on cnn untill single payer passes right? i mean the left wing contols the media right? thats why 60 senators a president and 100 seat majority in the hosuse cant pass a bill?

    oh that would be the right wing influence nevermind

    July 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  45. Darren

    Keep his attention focused on the real issues and don't get sidetracked by the MSM distractions.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  46. Wil in Delaware

    I believe he has done all he can. The media doesn't help with
    all their polls and doomsday scenarios. Why don't we hear more about the money the opponents of healthcare receive from the lobbyists.
    John McCain – 9m
    Mitch McConnell -3.1m
    Max Baucus – 3.8 m
    Orrin Hatch – 2.9m
    Charles Grassley- 2.5m
    The representatives listed above have received these contributions from the health sector over several election cycles. If the public is made aware momentum will be regained. Who do they really work for?

    July 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  47. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    He needs to keep pressing the point for the need of a National Health Insurance plan. And stop getting caught like a rookie politician with using words like acting stupidly. He should have known that the press would have a field day with that one. Which they did and still are having until they get distracted by something else.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  48. joe stlouis mo

    Eliminate the lobbyist and congress from the situation.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  49. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    He just needs to keep beating the drum........we all know health care reform is badly needed. Eventually the resistance will cave in.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  50. Peter M

    He never lost it to begin with. Obama is on track to have the bill in the fall. Everything else you hear is just a side show.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. John from Los Angeles

    Fire Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner.

    Audit the Fed. Give a clear accounting of where the money's gone, how we're going to pay our debts and then we'll know....

    IF WE CAN AFFORD IT.

    But first, clean house at the Fed. Otherwise, the economy–not Iraq–will become Obama's Vietnam.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Ted Beaverton, OR

    The momentum will return once Congress goes back in session. They will have received their epiphany awakening from their constituents who put them in office and are asking, "where's the beef?". On the other hand, a month is a long time in campaign donation dollars from the big money corporations who are brazenly fighting Healthcare for all Americans.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Cortez in Rochester

    I say for this particular bill, replace the whole congress with Doctors and Nurses; the real people who are in the trenches everyday and who know firsthand the severity of the lack of Health Care in this country. I don't know why we let these fools in Washington decide anything.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  54. george charles paree

    He complained about bush rushing bills threw bills and he cant waite yo pass his bills he nuts and I cant waite to get him out

    July 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  55. Renee Lee Coomes

    I believe and trust Obama in creating a new health care system. WE TRUST YOU OBAMA – MAKE US PROUD! Thank you Obama!

    -San Jose, CA

    July 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  56. Ron from SF

    He can point out that every time this failed, Democrats went on to long periods in the minority. Liberals like me, will be working agaist those who were road blocks to Universal Health Care, because this is the whole ball game. If that means backing a Repug over a ConservaDem, so be it. I'm sick of the pandering to the Insurance and Banking Lobby's and what's the point of having a majority of Democrats, if they vote like Republicans?

    July 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  57. Sonya Blais

    I am a US citizen married to a Canadian and living in Montreal

    I have Multiply Sclorsis and I have dealt with every type of health coverage and by far the Canadian system is better!! In Canada any one can go to a doctor with out a worry of cost or thought of ‘will my insurance cover a procedure or the doctor?’ In Quebec no one ever pays more than $700 a year for medicine! I was able to get a regular wheelchair and a custom electric wheelchair (or scooter), not to mention any equipment aid I need at no cost. I was even given the money to make my condo handicapped accessible. We also have private insurance, which takes our coverage a bit further such as dental, eyewear and up grades to a private room. I can get sick anywhere in the world and I know I’ll have the absolute best care available and that my husband would be flown to be at my side. Wouldn’t it be nice if no one in the USA ever had to worry about getting sick again!
    I just wonder if every person, who does not want government assisted health care, really knew how much of his or her money was being spent on the non-insured, would they feel the same? They would be trying their hardest to get the problem resolved. I would much rather have government, a group of people whose jobs relies on votes from their constituents than to have a bunch of fat cats who decide what and how much care is to be given according to their pockets. The Canadian government sets the price on how much drug companies and doctors can charge for medicines and their procedures. My family would definitely not qualify for the public assistance here, yet I still get a lady from the CLSC (government run health clinics) to come by my condo every day at noon to make sure that I was able to prepare my lunch.
    As for transplants, yes Canada does transplants, with a few exceptions. If you need a new liver because you're an alcoholic or if you have lung cancer because you are a smoker, then you’re out of luck. Other than damage to an organ that you caused, anyone can receive an organ.
    We have a friend who’s mother is 77 years old is on dialysis and has to go for the procedure three times a week, not only is the dialysis portion is free, but so is the transportation to and from the hospital.
    ` All of the US should be so lucky!

    July 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  58. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: No problem. Every day each of us learn about a family member or co-worker who has a family member in medical crisis. These crisis are not going to go on vacation until September. They will mount. The President and reality based politicians on both sides need to be very visible to the American people so that this issue is just not going away. No doubt we will be seeing Obama, Biden, Sebillus and other leaders beating the drum on this one. We all just need to take a deep breath and operate in the interests of all Americans. Just think, in 1993 when the last health care reform effort tanked, we were 16 years younger – the time is now.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. John in Santa Barbara

    Remember during the election, it was said that he talked good but had a hard time closing. Well here we are again, he needs to close this health care deal, and he needs to bring out the big guns in the Democratic party to stand behind him and get vocal about it.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  60. Glen- Sarasota FL

    71 percent says it needs to be done... that alone speaks volumes! We're on the right track! Obama needs to keep the momentum going and adhere to the guiding principles. There is no rush- this is a monumental reform initiative but I'm confident that the congress and senate will produce a final bill that works for all stakeholders!

    Glen- Sarasota FL

    July 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  61. Thomas from Virginia

    The answer, he shouldn't do anything. A majority of the America people do not want the health care reform that he has proposed and is so desperately trying to push through congress. His health care reform will hurt the quality of care and wouldn't even put a dent in costs.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  62. Eric VanSickle, Cedar Falls, Iowa

    Jack:

    The President needs to be ever vigilient to both the American public and the Blue Dogs that this must be passed NOW. If reform is not passed now, he should say, then it'll probably take another 10 years or more for it to be brought up again. It's best to strike while the iron's hot.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  63. Christ from NY

    He never lost it. Only the media would want us to believe he did.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  64. Woody, Newark NJ

    I for one hope he does not, I have lymphom and have zero complaints about my insurance company, under a government run plan, I may not have received the treatment required. Rationing of our health care needs is a non starter as far as I am concerned.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  65. David Gerstenfeld

    Start by doing things that can be done quickly, i.e. medicare fraud; enforcing, with penalties, the under reporting of bad doctors, hospital errors, etc.
    David

    July 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  66. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    First be honest on the cost. Second be honest on the structure. Third be honest on who exactly is to be covered and place all federal workers and congress under the government program to provide oversight. Fourth be honest on the anticipated impact to private enterprise health care insurers, can they compete with the government? Fifth establish a federal tax program that effectively brings all 1099 workers into the health care system and collects the income taxes that are due. Sixth, don't be in such a hurry to do ti wrong, take the time to do it right.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  67. Natalie

    Pull the blinds on the window, turn off the television, roll up his sleeves and get about the business for which he was elected. Let the media and their stories handle themselves and focus on the agenda he set forth to accomplish minus the distractions. Every story that pops up in the news will come up again tomarrow, next week, next month or next year. Tomarrow will indeed take care for the things of itself, we just want our President to take time, trust his instincts on matters political and continue to reach across the aisle to the GOP party that continues to beat yesterday's drum of exclusivity.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  68. hank, montreal

    Jack, I dunno about you people; the solution to Health Care seems so simple to me. Goldman Sachs made a profit of 3.44 billions and that's about $40 million per day incl. w/ends over the last quarter. If one company can make so much money, it's obvious that they now have the 'smartest guys in the room' then why not let them handle health care?

    July 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  69. Steve

    Merely keep reminding the American People that they are the "Momentum" and benefactors behind Health Care Reform.We have former and current Presidents that have used the Government provided health care system for Federal Employees. A system to die for..(No pun intended) Not one members of congress rejected it or complained about it when they were oriented into Congress the first time. No Senator has ever refused it. Even the Senators and Congressman for life crew. Four and Five Star Generals have always depended on Walter Reed and Bethesda military hospitals as far back as MacArthur, so why pray tell now is there a question about the Government recognizing that private industry medical providers needs a little competition to refocus them on patients as opposed to "PROFIT"? Tax payer need to wake up and stop listening to the folks that are professional Senators/Congressmen and realize that they are only parrots for the industries that keep them in there professional status as a life long Senator/Congressman.

    Remember Obama could be four and out but Health Care Reform could be around to serve their great, great grandchildren!!

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    July 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  70. Ola

    Whare are the republican do nothing for eight and more years. They killed Hillary heath care initiative. Another 8 years of do nothing. Now they are claiming that they want to slow down. What does that tell you? As usuall slow it to a crawl. Shame! hsame !! shame. Obama need to get the average american behind him and leave the do nothing party behind..........

    July 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  71. Nuwan

    He can only use every opportunity to talk about it with the expectation that American people will pay more attention to it. He is trying hard to bring a solution to this problem while Republican and ultra conservatives keep using culture of fear to scare away people from it. Who said change is easy ? So many in the past failed at this. So unless that momentum comes from the people, it is the people who would loose this opportunity. Obama, those in congress and those who oppose this has good health coverage. What about others ? People needs transcend this culture of fear and get involved in this. This is a national problem that we must solve.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    July 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  72. Karen-Phoenix

    Keep hitting the public with what will happen if we DO NOTHING. The cost will get soooo bad that NOT one company, school, government, or small business will be able to afford health care for their employees and NO ONE but the ultra rich will even be able to get close to paying for it!!! Did you see what Health Nets profit was for this last quarter??? Over 16 billion dollars!!! NO MORE getting rich on the old, sick and dying!!! Tax the hell out of the insurance companies to pay for it!

    July 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  73. James in Alabama

    Some Blue Dog Democrats need to be called on the carpet for being obstructive and the President needs to play hardball with them and the Republicans who are receiving tremendous amounts of money from the health insurance companies, the National Hospital Association, the AMA, and the health care industry lobbyists. America needs to know who's opposing reform and why.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  74. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Nature (our broken gov't) is taking its usual course and it seems there is nothing the President can do about it, at least not alone. The longer we wait to do something about health care reform the easier it is to place it on the back burner for another four years.
    Your Gallop Poll showing that 24 percent of the people say there shouldn't be health care reform at all, is a clear indication of whats wrong with this country. It's obvious to me that this group of 24 percent is rich and possilbly reaping some of the profits from our helth care industry at the expense of the poor and middle class.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  75. Alex in Seattle

    The administration needs more of a finished plan that the president can present to the American people. As it stands now, the president is trying to support multiple nebulous reforms that haven't yet been finalized. He appeared weak during the press conference because there is still no solid plan and he didn't want to rule out any of the proposals that are still on the table.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  76. kirby platter

    What do you mean "regain"? The president"s health care initiative never really had any momentum.

    Quad Cities, USA

    July 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  77. Richard Sternagel

    President Obama should focus on the economics of failing to do anything i.e. that for most Americans a serious illness will result in one Losing their home,that small businesses will benefit from universal health coverage, that job creation often is tied to whether a company afford an existing policy.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  78. Linda in Arizona

    He could start by explaining just what the hell is in the bill. I don't think anybody knows. As for regaining momentum, I don't think he can. They played this whole thing wrong from the beginning letting Congress write the bill, and saving the president's input for the last. It's too late now, and I don't care, because he has already sold out to big pharma and the insurance industry. The only thing that could save it now is a complete redo with single payer as the centerpiece. That's not likely to happen, and I think this plan will lose, and deservedly so.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  79. Terry, California

    President Obama must recognize that providing free healthcare coverage to 12-15 million illegals started the problem, and will continue to tax the system until they are told "no more!".

    July 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  80. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    He could stop telling the country one thing about what he wants to do and then turning around and doing the opposite.
    Most of the things he promised to do were forgotten as soon as he was elected. His idea is to destroy the country we have known and replace it with a large commune run by the democrats in Washington.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  81. Bev - NYC

    I think he needs an infomercial stating exactly how the new program will work. This may help those member of Congress who have not read the plan but know it won't work. He needs to stay in front of the issue, no more leaks from the CBO, all ayone hears in the soundbite, no one including the press digs deeper to discover what the CBO did not factor in. The only people against this plan are big insurance and the representatives who depend on their lobbying dollars.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  82. David in Iowa City

    First things first, sign an executive order suspending all government health care for members of congress and their families. Then he should hold a press conference where he points out exactly how much lobbying money the 'Blue Dog' Democrats and Republicans are being influenced by from the private insurance companies. These same 'Blue Dogs' and Republicans never complained about money when George W. Bush started the Trillion-Dollar Iraq War, but they have fits when President Obama wants every American to have health care as a right, not just a privilege for the wealthy.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  83. Kim - Blair, NE

    Find a way to get much more information about the bill out to the public. I believe in our president & believe that the president's policy will work & help the majority of American people. However, the MONEYBAG REPUBS are really putting out the lies. Americans need & want to see the truth.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  84. Layne Alleman

    Jack, He can't, He won't, and in his now most famous phrase; "It's time to move on". (better to let Congress screw around with it for the next four years, it'll give them something to do) L. Alleman Antioch, Il.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  85. Mike, Vancouver

    Do what the Republicans do, take a hard line with those who would claim they are Democrats and tell them to get in line and do their jobs as Democrats, not half Democrat and half Republican. It appears there are a number of players who want it both ways.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  86. Larry Palm Beach

    It won't be easy Jack but it can be done. He needs to remind americans that 14-thousand lose their health insurance every day and that 60% of bankruptcies are tied to health care costs not mortgage foreclosures or credit card bills. Finally ,challenge congress to move itself off the most generous government health care plan in history and remind us that for 8 years the GOP did nothing to reduce the number of uninsured and in fact the number grew by 6 million.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  87. Stephen Culbertson

    Mr. Cafferty,

    President Obama can gain momentum by proposing a healthcare reform bill that is objectively realistic, is presented honestly to the American public, not politically, and is not run by the government.
    President Obama and the democratic party are destroying this country in their attempt to socialize America with the help of the mainstream media.
    The American people will reject socialism in 2010.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  88. Jay

    That’s an easy one: He should cancel the healthcare of every member of Congress. Force the folks in the House to only be eligible for the same private insurance that the average middle class family can afford, so they can see what’s like. Force the Senators to have to use the healthcare system up here in Canada, so they can learn first-hand that the “government bureaucrat between you and your doctor” thing is a complete right-wing lie. People don’t get serious about solving a problem if it doesn’t affect them personally. Most of the people in this debate have been rich their whole lives, and have never had to deal with the broken system.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  89. Tony

    I have no health insurance since I lost my Job. This is what I picked up from media last several weeks on healthcare.
    1. The Obama plan would allow more options for Americans. We can chose from public or private plans and if we lose jobs, we may not lose our health insurance as we may decide to keep it [if private] or switch to the public one. We love public option.
    2. For every dollar, 67 cents are already paid for by getting rid of the waste in the current healthcare system. The rest 33 cents will be funded by taxing rich Americans who earn more than 350K or $1million. So there is no trillion dollar deficit that the scare mongers are feeding American public, correct?
    So what is the problem or mis-information that democrats and republicans spreading who are scrambling to please the lobbyists who pay for their campaign? American people who are suffering now will remember these democrats and republicans who are trying to spread mis-information so that their corporate insurance Gods won’t be displeased. And why is white house doing such a poor job in explaining how healthcare will be funded? Why can’t they show charts after charts educating American people how they plan to fund Obama plan? Is this part of fuzzy politics? Perhaps, a deliberate lack of transparency? We Americans are tired of these games! White house needs to pick up the ball and dissect mis-information with hard data! It is time to provide transparency! We will send the democrats and republicans home who are looking out for big insurance companies! But before that, white house and Obama needs to clearly provide the funding numbers, every piece of the pie! Is white house scared to displease big insurance companies? I want affordable health insurance and I want a better healthy life for my children. Congress, house and Mr President, don’t fail us!
    Tony
    Denton, TX

    July 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  90. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    I saw the interview yesterday with Secretary Hillary Clinton and I heard her say that in 1993 when we last tried to pass healthcare, that 61% of small business owners offered a health plan and now that figure has dropped to 38%. My idea is that Pres. Obama have a town hall style Q&A in cities and invite only small business owners from surrounding towns to participate.I beleive that he has a good chance to rally their support and put a different kind of pressure on state politicians. Just trying to think outside the box!

    July 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  91. tomm from wakesha,Wi

    what he needs to do is make financial lobbing illegal, because if they have to pay to convince a congress men to go against the will or the interest of his constituance, you should call it bribery. this government is put in place to protect and serve the people ,by the people not corporate hacks, that just want to deregulate the government and the system to help them control and self regulate their bottom line.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  92. sjc1963

    America will get Health Care reform, but the conservatives, and the lobbyists will get it soo watered down that it'll will be worthless (Like they do to gun control laws.). I feel sorry for the average American who has to suffer needlessly because of the greed and short-sightedness of the right-wing.

    I'm glad that I live in a democracy (Canada) where the people chose to have proper health care without business getting the way. Maybe The USA should change to being a democracy instead of a republic? The People have more of a real say in a Democracy.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  93. Michael Odegard (PDX, Oregon)

    Obama will not be able to regain his momentum because he had lost his mandate. He didn't increase taxes on the rich. He didn't change the borrow and spend status quo. He didn't marginalize the power of lobbyists–specifically the banking and automotive. He didn't adopt a significantly different foreign policy. At the rate Obama is going, he will be the second worst President in US history, after Bush Jr.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  94. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    The president. as well as the pundits, should focus attention on the chief culprits: The insurance companies. It is they that have put their hands in the pockets of doctors as well as patients. Doctors contribute care. Patients contribute payment. The insurance companies generate massive profits, and contribute nothing. How much could we save with them out of the equation, completely?

    July 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  95. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    He can start by focusing the the solution no Congressman worth his bloated pension is willing to address, Big Pharma and the extortionist costs they charge for their products. That would show he is serious about fixing one of the major reasons health plans are so sky high. He could establish fixed pricing at affordable levels so even the the poorest among us could get the medicine they need.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  96. Michael Odegard (PDX, Oregon)

    Obama will not be able to regain his momentum because he has lost his mandate. He didn’t increase taxes on the rich. He didn’t change the borrow and spend status quo. He didn’t marginalize the power of lobbyists–specifically the banking and automotive. He didn’t adopt a significantly different foreign policy. At the rate Obama is going, he will be the second worst President in US history, after Bush Jr. He will pass a healthcare bill that foots the bill to future generations because this is the only trick the baby boomers know, and Obama is just another boomer.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  97. Independent for Obama

    He is'nt lacking momentum....he's lacking a convicing, detailed arguement that THIS is the specific plan for success, how it affects every American, and how all the debt we will incur from this plan will be worth it.
    Janie, Springfield, MA

    July 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  98. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Make this a 2 part process. Part 1:get the savings part done. Once that part is 'in the bank' then look at expanding coverage as part 2. My guess is since part 1 will never happen, we'll never see part 2.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  99. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Explain the real costs of doing nothing for the overall economic health of the government, of its citizens and businesses! The morality so far has been to allow people to make profits out of sick people... it is pathetic! At least get a more balance system in place! We can complain all we want about this economic situation due to greed on Wall Street but haven't we allow the same greed take place and profit from so many health businesses making quite a buck on the backs of the economic wealth and physical health of citizens and the economic wealth of businesses!

    July 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  100. Jane from St. Louis

    If he (Obama) wants to gain momentum for his health care reform, he could pick up some more moderates as the pendulum swings back to the "right"... the "left" just isn't ringing well for the majority of America.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  101. susan- Chicago

    President Obama must ask himself the following :

    Do Americans understand what an OLIGOPOLY is?

    Do Americans know what industries are OLIGOPOLIES in the USA?

    Do Americans understand or know how to DISMANTLE an OLIGOPOLY?

    What is the difference between OLIGOPOLY and MONOPOLY?

    Do Bluedogs understand what an OLIGOPOLY is? Do they know what industries are OLIGOPOLIES in the USA?

    Some Americans believe more 'international' policy is irrelevant or bad-

    Do Americans understand Global? Global Financial Meltdown?

    C-Street R-OK Deacon Coburn thinks Switzerland – all private- Healthcare is best in World- but too much regulation for his taste-

    POTUS must point out the 'anti regulation' mentality of leaders/deacons in congress that are anti – democratic institutions and will never agree with any government program. It is agains the C- Street Family philosophy.

    President Obama must explain and educate the American People in a Summer Crash Course!!

    July 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  102. Georgia from PA

    Remind pro lifers without healthcare the living don't have a prayer – that means everyone: a contageon becomes virulent how many die and infect others because they couldn't afford medical assistance?

    July 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  103. Bertina

    Keep reminding people what would happen if nothing is done. If that doesn't scare people to act then they really are drinking the kool aid of republican spin.

    Augusta, GA

    July 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  104. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    I think he should go Gerald R. Ford on us and lay out some charts and graphs. He needs to relate what he wants to do visually and not just rely upon rhetoric. His speeches about health care are getting old. If he explains his financing of it with a graph, people will understand. And it wouldn’t hurt him to have a couple testimonials from victims of insurance companies. And he needs to put a face on it. Name names. Let the public know who the worst offenders are.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  105. Ken in NC

    Forget being bipartisan with Republicans and concentrate on the Blue Dog Democrats and work on it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  106. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Take away federal healthcare to balance the budget. Let them pay up the nose like we do. I bet it would pass in no time at all and take away their vacations too, while we're at it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  107. Dave Dubinsky

    Boston, MA – 20 yrs in health care mgt taught me one very big thing about our current health care system: insurers and providers are all after the same thing...Your money! No insurance? You're outta' luck! It's time to support a complete overhaul of our health care system, inclusive of a public option. The fat cats are obese enough!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  108. David A Whitaker

    Jack things has slow down a little, but I still believe that there will be a bill pass this fall. Everybody has their chest trying to gain some type of pecking order. And then the bill will past,because there is a election next year.

    David
    Martinsburg,WV

    July 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  109. Sally in Phoenix, Ariz.

    Jack, there is nothing left for the president to do but step back, put the proposals out there to speak for themselves. Let Americans read them and comment on them so that our elected officials can make an informed vote.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  110. John from Alabama

    Jack: President Obama can appeal directly to those people in this nation who do not have health care to write their Congressman and Senators during the August Vacation. I believe 48 million letters arriving at the Congressional Mailroom would be really good thing. Only the direct appeal by those who need the reform now would make a difference. Publish the addresses online and newspapers. Only a direct appeal by those needing health care coverage will work.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  111. Marlene C. Wilmington,De

    Dear Jack, President Obama is doing everything that he is supposed to be doing. But he can't do it all without help from us 'we the people'. He sees thousands of letters daily from Americans without healthcare or inadequate healthcare. During the month of August, I will be contacting Blue Dog Dems by e-mail or correspondence. I will,also, be contacting Congress in general. 'We the people' need to take a stand with our President. Congress has forgotten who put them in office-'we the people'. The GREED in Congress,healthcare and insurance needs to stop! We need healthcare reform NOW!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  112. Chris in AZ

    He can stop trying to ram his one sided agenda through and make it an open and honest discussion. Any such discussion would also include tort reform and the lowering of malpractice premiums. We have to take the lawyers and HMO's out of the system. Why will this never happen? Because Washington is funded by lawyers and HMO's.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  113. Rhonda Lathrop

    President Obama should gather a group of people who have been victims of the present care-for-profit health care system and have them tell their stories. Also, it would help if the new system were explained fully. Most people believe they will lose what they think they have and don't understand how they would benefit.
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    July 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  114. Birddog in Mississippi

    He needs to tackle this much like he tackled the campaign. When times are bad, people need some optimistic talk and inspiration to act . One thing he did in the press conference that was effective was to suggest that there was a bill in congress that would triple your health insurance costs, add huge numbers of people to the rolls of the uninsured, increase the deficits, and render America globally uncompetitive. That's the bill that's called the "Do Nothing" bill. It's the one most republicans support.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  115. poetry from chicago

    he can't.

    They are going about it upside down. The reason costs are as bad as they are is because for one, doctors are forced to order unneccary tests regardless of professional judgement to cover against ambulance chasers. Also the pharm. industry is raging out of control with peddling pills through expensive advertising campaigns.

    An overhaul on this scale needs to start from the bottom up.. meaning the doctors need to be empowered as it is by their judgement that care is given. The current plan turns the medical field into a political entity.. (3 out of 5 members of the Board created to head the insurance branch will be appointed by the president.)

    There are a lot of good points and necessary goals for health reform in this plan. But the way it is structured will only worsen care in the long run as it will discourage potential future doctors from the profession.

    already the number one complaint from doctors who are disillusioned by the profession is the amount of red tape they need to deal with. I personally know a few doctors who are already planning on going into early retirement.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  116. poetry from chicago

    Nothing.

    They are going about it upside down. The reason costs are as bad as they are is because for one, doctors are forced to order unneccary tests regardless of professional judgement to cover against ambulance chasers. Also the pharm. industry is raging out of control with peddling pills through expensive advertising campaigns.

    An overhaul on this scale needs to start from the bottom up.. meaning the doctors need to be empowered as it is by their judgement that care is given. The current plan turns the medical field into a political entity.. (3 out of 5 members of the Board created to head the insurance branch will be appointed by the president.)

    There are a lot of good points and necessary goals for health reform in this plan. But the way it is structured will only worsen care in the long run as it will discourage potential future doctors from the profession.

    already the number one complaint from doctors who are disillusioned by the profession is the amount of red tape they need to deal with. I personally know a few doctors who are already planning on going into early retirement.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  117. jr

    EVERYONE that will not be executed for a vicious crime has the right to life. if I were OBAMA, I would propose healthcare legal for non lethal and short term sickness only (as the rates for everyone would be significantly lower)... While the rest of the medical emergencies and medications would be free for everyone with upgrades if the want to pay for it (ie cable tv in the room).

    July 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  118. Don

    President Obama should get the federal government out of the health care business and let the market allocate the health care resources. That includes HMO legislation, medicare and medicaid. That is what he should do to regain momentum and popularity.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  119. Donald, Canton, NC

    I say strip every member of Congress of their medical insurance immediately and see how fast they cancel their summer recess and get an acceptable bill on the President's desk!!!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  120. Bob - Pittsburgh

    Dump it and start over. This time take it away from Nancy Pelosi and the back rooms of congress. Bring it out in the open and be what's that word he used so often... transparent !

    July 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  121. Fred Fl

    Cut off all healthcare for the congressmen and senators and other government employees. Then we would see how long they would want to delay this bill from passing.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  122. Hank R.

    President Obama needs to reinforce his recollection of the primary platform components he was elected on. Healthcare reform – with the public option – was among the highest of our requests and his pledges. He needs to remind us he remembers us, then do what he said he would do.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  123. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    President Obama that there are too many working poor who are sick and dying because they can't afford health care and keep a roof over their heads.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  124. Jaimie Addy

    He needs to launch a campaign explaining to the general public just how bad our health care is in this country. Most people have no idea just how much better off we could be with some sort of health care reform. Only then will significant change occur.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  125. lawrence

    Well, being an executive and sitting on the side of the bench where I can afford health insurance and increase is probably not going to kill me. However, I think that we can't sit on our side of the bench and say no don't go for it. I think he has to talk to the people, and tell them why it matters, give them stories of real people with real issues, with real health stories and remind everyone that can be them one day and that waiting is not an option, we did that during the Clinton era.

    Squandering the opportunity ensures that another generation will fight this battle again. It's not supposed to be easy, talk to the people "with less rhetoric, but with compassion"!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  126. Ken in DC

    He needs to say to the Blue dogs, a godfather- michael corleone- luca brasi response- either their signatures or their careers will be on the health care reform bill. If they don't come aboard he will derail their careers.

    The Dems have the majority the health care plan is necessary and if the Dems don't do it on their own with a majority then they should be ashamed of themselves – the blue dogs especially, but the others for not being more hardnosed.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  127. Tom Morgan

    Obama has it right. I've had my individual insurance cancelled by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield after I had a cancerous lesion removed from my kidney. They cancelled it retroactively and demanded all the money back from the surgeons paid on my behalf. You really don't have any insurance if you have an indiviual policy, they can cancel you at will. The State of California sued Anthem, fined them 11 million dollars and made them reinstate 2200 policies and pay the out of pocket medical costs for those subscribers. Time for private insurance companies to go away. Many many have my same story.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  128. Ron Mazurek

    Maricopa, AZ
    Jack, gaining the momentum back in Congress is easy. Simply have all our elected Representatives go on their coveted summer recess, minus their government paid for health care plans. Let them actually feel what it feels like to go without any coverage for the month. At the same time, extend the benefits they enjoy to every American citizen. At the end of 30 days, we can all sit down and figure out what we really all want.....

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  129. Paul

    Personalize the message. The opposing forces to Health Care reform do a great job of making people scared about what can happen to them if health care reform passes. Obama and the pro Health Care reform movement need to clearly show people what it means to them and not to the "other guy". Unfortunately, today's society is still very self centered and asking them to be comassionate doesn't work. Everyone wants to know what it means to me.

    Paul
    Los Angeles, CA

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  130. Laurie

    Let's go back to who should pay for. Let all the Actors/ Singers that we made rich by going to the movies or buying their cd's or going to concerts. I'm tired of the middle class always being called on. Damn it, I am a Mother of 4 and my husband now retired only because he lost his job in December. I have no medical insurance. Go to the rich and let them pay for it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  131. Bonita Rose Houston, Texas

    Obama can have open enrollment for the congressional insurance policy! No need to setup a separate insurance and worry about getting it passed. . Let us all have the benefits of those we elect!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  132. Navy_Chief

    Simple, put "single-payer" on the table and:

    1) tell the Insurance lobby to get lost
    2) Start publicly embarrassing the senators and representatives that have been taking hand-out to de-rail reform.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  133. Sharon F. Sykes

    Jack, I don't know who they call for these surveys, but I consider health care reform to be of paramount importance. I just called 4 senators and a congressman to tell them so. It's uncivilized and inhumane that this country has no universal health care coverage for its citizens.

    Sharon Sykes
    Macungie, PA 18062

    July 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  134. Marcus Plant city fl

    If the health care plan congress has was canceled I bet they'd make a decision pretty fast.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  135. Rhood

    All americans should have access to affordable health care, but this bill should make sure that we lower health care costs, no bill should be passed unless it lowers the costs of health care, if the quid pro quo continues only the very wealthy will be able to have health care.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  136. Jason

    If Washington can do so well with heathcare, then it should be required that all of them would be on the "new government run plan"

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  137. Ann in Asheville, NC

    I am so embarrassed that the United States is having a discussion about IF there should be health reform. The only question should be HOW. Shame on us for having so many citizens without access or coverage. Other countries not only provide more than adequate medical access, for half the price, but they extend these courtesies to anyone visiting that has an emergency need as well.

    We take lots of government provided services for granted. Everyone should be able to take access to medical care for granted. Shame shame that we cannot say it is so.

    Enough with power being determined by the corporations and big business. Let's take care of everyone else for a change.

    STAND UP DEMOCRATS, STAND UP.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  138. Jerry

    Nothing, leave it alone, It is not a priority. How about finishing up one or both of our constant never ending wars Jerry/ Iowa

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  139. Joe

    He should tell Congress that if they don't pass the bill by their break, he'll call a special session. That will get the bill passed pretty quickly.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  140. Paul

    By embracing the similarity to Candian Health Care, Jack. As a Canadian, I am constantly astonished by how much the common American does not know. What's more frightening unfortunately, is seeing the TV ads and Republican warnings of how bad a singele payer Health Care System is. Let me put it this way. I have been in Canada all my life. I don't pay a cent for health care aside from the small cent amount deducated along with my taxes from income and I have never had to pay a dime for what is arguably the best health care in the world. No one goes bankrupt for being sick here. You need an MRI, an apperndix taken out, a visit to the GP, brain surgery.....it's free. And it's excellent. So if Obams wants to win the war on health reform in your country he needs to illuminate the reality of a Canadian style health care system, and not let the same old scare tactics of profit-hungry, in-bed-with-the-lobbyists Republicans.

    Paul in Toronto

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  141. Roger in Kansas

    Jack, loss of momentum is a good thing. We need heath care revisions, not total overhaul. He has bankrupted our country and still wants to go further. I voted for him but now I want my vote back......

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  142. Meg Hoffmann

    Health care reform would be quickly passed if the health care insurance of all federal workers was suspended until agreement was reached.

    Meg
    Inverness, FL

    July 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  143. Cicely123

    The CBO report is disingenuous because it over estimates the costs and understatements the savings. The Obama Admin is doing what we all say politicians should do: thinking beyond the next election. US health care reform is needed now because the cost will continue to spiral up and the number of people covered will continue to spiral down. Everyone knows this, but humans are so afraid of change they have to be dragged kicking and screaming (or at least squirming) toward it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  144. Eddie C

    Barack Obama can stop sounding like a broken record and convince the American majority that feel secure with their health care coverage that they can still become a statistic, a permanently incapacitated former worker or even a dead person, at the mercy of an industry that bases its profit on the number of Americans that they deny coverage.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  145. Erik

    The President could regain momentum by explaining what is going to be in the reform. In last week's press conference when asked what Americans would have to sacrifice in his health care reform the President gave the biggest non-answer I have ever heard. Give the people a detail or two to rally behind. President Obama is finding out a vague idea of reform isn't nearly as easy to gain support as a vague slogan of change.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  146. Steve Canada

    Lemmee see, some of the Repubs want to use the issue to "break" your President. If ,that fact alone doesn't piss enough of you off, maybe he shouldn't even try. He was elected with a resounding majority and his big item was health care reform. Maybe he should wait until a few million more lose their healthcare and try again...Call your reps and get it done !!!!!!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  147. Ballard Powell

    Nothing! No government supported national health cate program rather the government should support existing public hospitals financially throughout the nation.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  148. DJ Brands

    All Obama has to do is remind the public how the bill to go to war in Iraq, got passed virtually overnight, without being read, how they had weapons of mass destruction, and how the oil would pay for the war.

    Here he is trying to do something long overdue and planned, with our interests at heart, and we are giving him a hard time? GO FIGURE.

    By the way, has anybody accounted for the 768 Billion President Bush gave to the banks back in November, or is it just President Obama that has to practice transparency?

    DJ Brands
    Palm Bay FL

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  149. CurtJ

    Make a requirement that the laws and regulations in regards to Conflict of Interest and Collusion are followed and enforced. Time after time the Republicans, Democrats and Independent Legislators are accepting monies from the Neo Con owned industries in exchange for laws, regulations and deregulations financially benenfitting their corporate benefactors and ultimately themselves. The Neo Con owned United States government should be made to make laws preventing anyone from the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of our government from going to work for industries they received money from or worked on behlf for , for at least 10 years.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  150. Margot, Northern California

    Where did the Gallup people take their poll to get such a low number? At a GOP caucus? I know more people who want reform and need health care than who say we can wait. Waiting will put many lives in jeopardy and put any kind of treatment out of reach.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  151. Gigi

    Pres. Obama needs to listen the people who elected him, keep his eye on the people who elected him. The polls, Congress, Senate and the media are not the people. They are a distraction.

    Oregon

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  152. Valorie, TN

    President Obama should announce, sorry we're out of money and can no longer afford to provide health insurance for anyone working in the federal government, no more medicare, no more medicaid, either. Just go ahead and suspend any kind of government subsidized health care and health insurance payments and let's see what those obstructionists in Congress do then! I'm 50 years old and have had no health insurance for several years now. I'm fed up with worrying how to take care of my illnesses and accidents because I can't afford to go to the doctor.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  153. Annie, Atlanta

    He can do what he does best; take it to the people. We realize, in growing numbers, the GOP and Blue Dogs are only looking out for their best interests, and the rest of us can drop dead, for all they care.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  154. Patricia Lloyd

    Make congress pay for their health care just as I do as a small independent business person. After they pay $600 + monthly for one person, they will find the momentum for President Obama!

    Patricia
    Birmingham, AL

    July 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  155. Neil Smith

    President Obama has to get the emphasis back on the fact that his plan will cover the 40 million plus uninsured Americans. If we can do this without raising the costs, you've done an excellent job.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  156. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    Never have regrets...the last question answered from President Obama about Professor Gates was about healthcare; ie. about healthier relations in the nation between police and citizens in understanding each other's reality and understanding how police are trained to face all their challenges and how innocent citizens have to learn how to have a better relation with police!:>) Take care!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  157. AARON

    He should relax and let it play out in congress. If in the end the results are adverse, he should look to the future to veto other bills that congress brings to his desk.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  158. t

    there is really not much anyone can do. the health care companies own the politicians and therefore own health care in our country and will not let anyone stand in the way of thier gigantic profits. when the ceo of one health care company makes 12 million a year and millions cant even afford to go to a doctor there is something wrong. thanks t from ocala fl

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  159. Vince Carson City, Nevada

    Jack,

    Obama should take a page from the GOP playbook. Select an appropriate anecdote about a particularly outrageous individual health care situation and repeat it again and again and again and again. Just like Reagan's Cadillac welfare queen, Bush's WMDs', and the GOP's "government bureaucrat making medical decisions" along with the constant chant of "socialized medicine".

    Pull a "W" and catapult the propaganda!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  160. Chuck from Inglewood, CA

    To regain momentum, I would like to see President Obama take his Healthcare reform message directly to the American people who do not realize their potential power to force a lobbyist dreaded reform to healthcare, by referring them to a website where potential public officials who are opponents to the reform have their contact information (official phone numbers and addresses) published requesting the public to call these said officials and voice their strong opinions about their lack of support to reform. The Sub-middle class and middle class are in the great majority in the United States, and are directly affected by the astronomically rising healthcare costs and sub-standard cost to service received ratio. The share number of the American people is stronger than the financial power of any lobbyists in congress so exploit the mandate you have been given.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  161. Tucker

    I believe the president, instead of going on vacation this August use it as time to grab the spotlight and run healthcare as if it were a campaign; signs, t-shirts, buttons, commercials, Speeches, blow it up to get people attention. Show the american people what our healthcare system is now and how it will change under the Presidents plan.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  162. Jason from Texas

    The plan that the government comes up with, should be the plan that they all have to be on. How much does it cost taxpayers to buy the policies for these idiots. If we fire them, do they deserve to keep their coverage?

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  163. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    First: He says it needs done this year all the time but in the vapor of one crises after the other why should I believe that one more year would make a difference.
    Second: He needs to get several top conservative leaders to tell the people that reform is needed this year.
    Third: He must be willing to make some deals because if he wants the people behind it he will need some Republicans for it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  164. Hank R., Phoenix, AZ

    The President must alert the democrats in the Senate obstructing the progress to make the Bill, with the Public Option, happen, that they are standing in the way of what he was elected to do by the majority, and that majority is not happy with them. He must do it forcefully and publicly. And, he must make it clear the Republicans who are not contributing to this accomplishment will go down, in history and otherwise.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  165. M. Jarman

    President Obama could get Health Reform Bill H.R. 3200 back on track if he stopped trying to make it happen so quickly. People mistrust Washington and we want to know what is really contained in the Bill.

    On page 425 it says EVERYONE on Social Security will go to MANDATORY counseling every 5 years to learn and to choose from ways to end your suffering. Does this mean "suicide"? Scary stuff.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  166. Glen Hyskell

    Jack,

    In my view, Congress is completely dysfunctional, bought & paid for by, in this case, the insurance industry. That only leaves the President to represent the American people. He doesn't have a hope in Hell, and neither do we citizens. All this talk about how the Republicans can do it better, where have they been for the last 60 years? I was turned down by the insurance company for having type II diabetes. They really have my best interests at heart, don't they?

    Glen

    July 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  167. Bruce

    All he needs to do is sign an executive order canceling Congress' health coverage. Then it might be meaningful reform instead of welfare for Big Pharma.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  168. Jeffrey from LA, California

    By giving more time to the Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to come up with a bill that wont put us $1 trillion in debt.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  169. Norm, Toledo

    He didn't lose his momentum the media killed it with the Gate's fiasco, they get there teeth into something and won't let go.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  170. Ken

    Health Care in this country has been turned into a wall street commodity. Greed runs the system, and they will not budge. Profits before health and well-being is the mantra of HMO's and Insurance companies.

    Making a public system is probably not the best idea, but if insurance comapnaies and HMO's can't cut the fat out of their costs, we will have no option but to go public.

    Healthcare should be a right in this country, not a commodity for the super rich.

    And those crying about the Feds telling a doctor what they can't or can do? Just look at the way its being run now. You can only pick your doctor from a booklet of doctors in a HMO plan, procedures, practice and methods are all dictated by the insurance companies on what they will pay...... Healthcare is already a drakonian system and we are too brainwashed to see it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  171. grrace

    To regain momentum, I suggest two Executive Orders

    1. Suspending the healthcare plan Congress gets, and let them shop around over August..

    2. Call a special session and require Congress to work over August.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  172. bill

    Quit smoking. Actions speak louder than words.

    Bill from Williamsburg, Va

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  173. Tricia Vesey

    Jack,
    The MEDIA might have been focused on talking about the Gates incident and Obama's response to it, but as far as I can tell the congress and the president kept doing their jobs: focusing on health care. Except for Obama's follow-up response on Friday, how exactly has "Gatesgate" slowed down progress on healthcare? Committees are still meeting and Obama is still holding town hall meetings and meeting with congress about healthcare reform.

    Momentum hasn't slowed. Perhaps you and the media have just gotten bored talking about it.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  174. Brian Innes

    Jack,
    I think President Obama should continue to hold rallies and public negotiations with members of Congress while stressing the need for health care reform in fixing the economy. Day after day, week after week, until he is able to drown-out the opposition – I think they call it the Bully Pulbit.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  175. MICHAEL GLASSER

    OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

    Respectfully, Mr. President:

    I believe that in order to lay a foundation for health reform in America it will require an “Executive Order”. For far too long the Medical, Pharmaceutical, Hospital, and Insurance industries have operated in the unobstructed modality of;
    “LIFE THREATINING CONFLICT OF INTEREST”.
    In considering this option, just think of all the deaths and damages caused by the Insurer who owns the Hospital and makes extra profit with their investments and partial ownership of Pharmaceutical Corporations. Those same companies refuse medical procedures to patients and charge outrageous prices for medications manufactured by them and sold in other nations at three to five times less than the U.S. prices. National Health works if the quality of the professionals is held to the highest possible degree. It cost more to have a sick nation than it does to have a healthy nation. Workers hours lost, productivity decreases, and all the support persons that must take off work or school to care for the infirmed.
    Mr. President, please use the power That the American people have entrusted you with and end the greatest ponzi scheme that has ever been inflicted on the American People.

    Stop the bickering and execute an “Executive Order”;
    One year for all Medical, Pharmaceutical, Hospital, and Insurance industries to divest all common and cross holdings of each other.
    ONLY THEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO REFORM HEALTH CARE IN AMERICA

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Alice Jaeger

    We could easily fund a compassionate health care system and bring down astronomical health costs, if we would eliminate insurance companies, with their outrageous salaries and bonuses, tell pharmaceutical companies to stop spending millions on their hideous commercial spots and pass those savings on to consumers, encourage everyone to take responsibility for their own well being by exercising and eating healthy diets, get the junk food out of schools and in general stop our system from being driven by profit and used by lobbyists to control politicians.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  177. James Heltsley

    We need to let people know that the health care they have now will not be the same long with rapidly rising rates. In our paper today Blus Cross wants a 21% increase for our school district. How long can our employers pay theses huge increases. Most on Medicare like the goverment run program they have. They are afraid if younger people get the same program we will lose ours. We wil lose the program we have to rising costs if the big insurance companies have a free run as they do now. Wake up America and quit the idea of i love what I have and to hell with those who do not!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  178. Jim/NC

    President Obama has never had momentum regarding health care...never will. You are assuming facts that are not in evidence.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  179. Jerry F Knight

    He should leave the health care of or nation to those that know what is truly involved in a change both econonically and who it has a barring upon.

    . Every time I turn around he is pushing for another issue he wants to see changed which ultimately throws or nation further in debt and making us more and more dependent on foreign governments and the money they are lending the US.

    The Congress and Senate need to read what they are being pushed into passage before doing so. The bill that is now being preposed is throwing our older generstion in the trash pile both poor and wealthy. The presedent needs to take a rest and go for a long walk!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  180. mighty white

    Health care is not being waylaid by the Gates controversy. It is just another issue to take attention from what is necessary for the well-being of us all. One has nothing to do with the other except they both need to be dealt with in our overall mental health!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  181. D in Ohio

    As a registered Democrat who voted for AND supports President Obama, I feel that he simply needs to grow a pair and call out the Republicans and others who stand in the way of health care reform.

    Simply put, if government-run health care is so bad, why do our elected officials cling so dearly to the health care WE pay for? I don't hear them complaining of their "lack of choice" and I don't see them rushing to pay their own premiums.

    Part of the problem with the President's plan is that he allows the Republicans to operate under the false assumption that Americans can go to any doctor and have any procedure done without interference from anyone. The fact of the matter is that many Americans already have someone standing in the way of the doctor and the patient. Many Americans have managed care through the "gatekeeper" system. Who is this gatekeeper? Why, it's the insurance companies, of course!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  182. Flora Foster

    I am from Alabama. It is according to whether you are under 65 or over 65 as to what you think. over 65 you are dead. under 65 and not on disability you are o.k. I am 75 so I am dead, right. f. in Alabama

    July 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  183. Jean-Pierre Lefrancois

    The best way to put heath care on tracks, is to show testimony of those who need it the most and show that america is still a generous country. Republicans start wars ans destroy the economy, now show that Democrats heal and care for all americans

    July 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  184. Ken

    If not now. When? Damn the cost. The current for profit health care system will break the bank in this country. Why can the lawmakers of Britain, France, Germany et. al provide for the health care of their populace and we cannot. GREED, and the agitation of dissent through the politics of fear of the unknown, promoted by lawmakers who line their pockets with money from the "health care" lobby whose only concern is the Health care of their profit margins. If the status quo continues, the health of the citizens United States will fall further than the 50th ranking which we now have and the world will know that our politician's concern for the citizenry is a sham to cover their own arrogance and greed!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  185. Edward Imes

    Two things:
    First, any plan must be mandatory for members of congress.
    Second, the cost of any plan to the average American must be no greater than the cost paid by members of congress.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  186. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    The Health Care Reform Bill is DOA Jack...don't even bother calling an ambulance. I believe Americans realize how broken the health care system is in this country, but they are hesitant to call on the federal government to fix the problem. There has to be a better way for the free market system to bring about the changes that will prevent medicine from bankrupting the nation. We don't need no stinking DMV health care.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  187. Kev Manning

    America's "greatest generation" are now in their sunset years. They became great because they shouldered sacrifice and pulled together selflessly. We need to do the same now. We need to regard ALL our citizens as valued neighbors by speaking up, standing up, and sacrificing for their basic needs and rights. Health care IS a basic right ... just as education. Our shared sacrifice on behalf of one another can only bring this nation to new heights and the best possible future.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  188. Richard (American in Toronto)

    I'm no longer audacious enough to hope for health care reform. The American public seems too willing to believe the lies of special interests and health care industry lobbyists, to disavow the utter necessity of a public option, and have not as a whole demonstrated the empathy of a citizenry devoted to each other.

    A recent Canadian poll showed that 82% of Canadians favor their health care system, yet American media continue to report the anomalies and rare individuals who dissent. I am married to a Canadian and I have said over and over to every American I know that I always choose my doctors, that there are no unreasonable or significant restrictions on medications, the idea of "rationing" is pure fright fantasy, and there is a thriving private sector health care system running parallel in Canada augmenting the public one. Americans respond with the same disbelieving rhetoric spewed by the same types of special interests that got us a Wall St. bailout, and seem completely disinterested in pursuing the facts.

    Americans will thus get the health care reform they have asked for - none at all.

    Richard

    July 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  189. jim Blevins

    What happens when the cost of health care becomes exorbitant is that some people are making a great deal of money. Those people are willing to spend a lot of money fighting change. That is why change is so hard. Obama seems to work miracles; I suspect that he will work yet another.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  190. Dale Davis

    Obama can regain Health Care Reform Momentum by focusing on specific solutions for the issues of concern, which are:

    1. What can be done to cut the cost of the plan?
    2. What increases in efficiency will occur with his plan and how will these changes save money or increase the level of care we receive. And what are specific projections that supports what he claims.
    3. What legislation will be in place to address companies droping coverage of employees or running current insurers out of business or delays in treatment as republicans claim will occur.
    4. Are there any non-care or non-efficiency threatening cuts in programs that can be made, which would cut cost and if so, what are they.

    The Republicans are fingerpointing and playing hardball politics instead of offering solutions to the issues they raise. Unfortunately, Obama and The Democrats aren't discussing solutions for these seemingly valid concerns, either. Positive solutions that make since, will regain The President his momentum on a sinsible plan that could work, if done properly.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  191. dano_in_ny

    Obama should answer any of the challenges with the question, " I won't except any challenges without answers to the following questions, and I won't accept how things WON'T work, I already know what doesn't work and it is what we have: I will accept only responses on what things WILL work: 1) how to cover the people who aren't covered. 2) how to control or lower cost. 3) how to prevent insurers from selectively cherrypicking the best insureds. 4) how to decide on a government option that can participate. The free market has given us the system we have now. Don't tell me the free market alone is going to solve this, that will disqualify your answer. "

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  192. Mack Summers

    New Orleans LA- For someone who is facing the loss of my healtcare plan upon retirment after 25 yrs. of service, the need for healthcare reform is of urgent importance. I'm losing my coverage because the cost is too prohibitive to keep it and have it deducted from my retirement check and due to pre-existing conditions i can't get affordable individual health insurance so either I can become a burden on the already overburdened "public" hospitals that treat the uninsured, I can pay an exorbitant, prohibitive price for coverage that will bankrupt me or just pray that I don't get a serious illness....

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  193. Mike

    Health care reform MUST happen. The longer we put it off the larger the possibility it will repeat Hillary Clinton's attempt at reforming an antiquated monopoly.

    Failing to see the need for reform at this point is denying health care a procedure to remove a much needed cancer.

    As a Country we have one of the poorest models for health care in the world – and our people are among the worst cared for as a Nation.

    Talk to anyone who has worked in the DOD and ask about their access to health care. It's a wonderful system and is greatly missed the day you are no longer eligible for it. People who have never used a universal health system, or have not studied it obviously need to sit down and do some research on just exactly how it works. It has existed in the US for decades already and saved people millions of dollars – and is not run by INSURANCE companies – its run by the doctors and other medical professionals that need it to help the people. THAT is the model of a successful system.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  194. j/NJ

    What can President Obama do to regain momentum on health care reform?

    By not politicizing or bureaucratizing the issue any more than it has been, by keeping Govt out of the health care business and by allowing the American people a much greater voice in the decision making process...lets face it the health care industry is arguably no more responsive to the immediate needs of the American people than any controlling, profit driven corporate giant on Wall Street...there is a reason why health care administration is such a growing menace in American society, insurance companies share the blame and the American people should be aware not only why things are as bad as they are, but why any congressional attempt to improve is likely to make matters worse...

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  195. tim

    The first thing he needs to do is to tell cnn to stop calling insurance execs for surveys on wether health care is fine in the U.S.. Most if not all the people I talk to, those with or without health care, thinks the system is not only flawed, but too expensive.My wifes job offered her a policy for a meer 300 dallars a week. Had she accepted At the end of the month, if not a third, a half of her salary woud have went to pay for health care. What the president needs to do is tell horror stories about the abuses and neglect that insurance companies commit. Expose the insurance companies for what they are and also the people who are trying to defend them.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  196. Sharon Dennis

    Have every family who has lost a family member to a lack of health insurance or inadequate heath care send the the White House and all news outlets photos of DEAD relatives with a 100 word info clip.....
    PLASTER them all over the media...TV,papers/billboards.
    ONE million photos will make a statement selfish REPUBLICANS cannot ignore.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  197. Dave

    President Obama can revive the health care initiative by countering the opponents of reform in this simple way: Ask them if they have insurance coverage. Then, ask how it would be to have their insurance disappear. Is that an acceptable circumstance for their families? If the opponents are honest and ethical, they will answer, "Heavens, no." Lack of health insurance is the primary focus that President Obama must focus on and develop the best strategy to address this economic monstrosity.

    Dave in Indiana

    July 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  198. Mark, Warwick RI

    He could start by making it something that would actually help – that is, changing the entire proposal.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  199. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    President Obama needs to continually take the case for healthcare to the American people.

    The GOP is spending a $1 million dollars in ads against healthcare for ALL Americans.

    Healthcare should be a right of ALL American citizens not a privilege.

    Please, folks, do some of your own research, educate yourselves. For example, did you know that WE, tax payers already PAY for the uninsured with higher premiums and through our taxes!

    ** Beware of the politics of lies, misinformation & fear!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  200. F.S.Mitchell

    He should continue to take his 'specific' message to the public. Don't concern himself with the Republicans and bi-partisanship - it' s never going to happen on this or any other issue that he proposes! Keep the pressure up on the 'Blue Dog' Democrates. If the first deadline has slipped, then immediately establish another, realistic, one and hold Congress to it! Without a deadline, whether in government or private industry, nothing happens!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  201. Lee in Phoenix AZ

    Public officials of both parties take big campaign bucks from insurers and drug companies, who then threaten to cut them off if they vote for a good health plan.
    We should have a non-profit, government-run health care system and we should realize that we have been told a pack of lies by the profit-makers about health care in all the other industrialized nations.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  202. Paggy Georgas

    UnitedHealth Group reports that profits soared 155% over the year ending June 30. For one quarter this "nonprofit" corporation posted net earnings of $859 million. This just one of the many conglomerates in the US siphoning health care dollars from our pockets to theirs. These middlemen have been the impetus for much of the huge increase in cost the last 25 years and their beaurocrates decide what care we can get. Obama should present these facts to the public in support of his plan which would greatly restrict the power of private providers by offering a public alternative as competition and not denying coverage for such things as pre-existing conditions. This would go a long way toward keeping our health care costs in check.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  203. genie wright

    Maybe he could plead with news programs like cnn, to cover health care issues in depth, rather focusing on the numbers of votes for and against. It's not all politics. The public looks to tthe news to be informed. Enough of the Gates affair.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  204. dan mcnally

    Dear Jack,

    Once the President refocuses the discussion onto Health Care Reform instead of health care INSURANCE reform, he will regain the interest of the American people. We all understand that simply figuring out a way to get coverage to everybody is not addressing the real problem. The issue that needs to be discussed here is why does it cost so much to go the the hospital or to even visit the doctor, not which government program is going to pay these exorbitant fees.Once Obama frames the argument properly, his supporters will return. If we can figure out the solution to the real problem, the insurance question will take care of itself

    Dan NY.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  205. James Westberry

    Jack: Why has virtually no anchor or reporter asked politicians, left or right, about Tort Reform? Health care costs could be substantially lowered if frivolous health care related lawsuits were limited, plaintiff loser pays all legal costs and caps put on punitive damages. Could it be that trial lawyers as a group are among the biggest political contributors?

    July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  206. Dan Collins

    Keep his campaign promise to give every American citizen the same "as John and I have" medical coverage as the members of congress receive – no exceptions and no deviations, the exact same program and federally paid for.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  207. Roberta Trask

    Hi Jack,
    Enjoy hearing all your comments. Been looking for your book.
    I give The President all the credit in the world for all that he is trying to do to help this world. the problems did not happen over night and will not go away overnight.
    The way I feel about the health care is that it definitely does need help and not the way of Canada's healthcare. What I do think is that with all the people that he has talked to in the United States he should have the best idea's in the world of what the real people need. Anyone making decisions in the government that comes from money and does not have to pay what the rest of us does, will never make good decisions for the common person. So the President should be listing to only the people.
    thanks for your time,
    Roberta from New York

    July 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  208. Billy - Denver, Colorado

    As our President mentioned in his speech last week, some officials on both sides have said they don’t want a government intervention in a medical plan stating; “It is too costly”! Well, can someone or anyone at CNN please explain once and for all to the American public what the medical and retirement plans are that all our elected officials have that we pay for in our congress and the senate?

    I think if we could level the playing field and the people of America could vote and put all our elective officials on any one of our plans that’s out there for us regular folks, we’d have a proper medical and retirement plan for everyone in America (including our elected officials in the congress and the senate) before or by the end of December 2009!!!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  209. Kooky in CA

    The momentum is there. Once they get the kinks ironed out and explain the final package to America, it will pass. We have to realize that the current situation is declining and will collapse if we don't change course. Status quo is not an option.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  210. Jeff in Minnesota

    What does the President expect from a bad plan? How anyone can expect to cover everyone regardless of their health is beyond me, yet that is what the plan supposedly does. There is a reason why insurers have coverage limits and issues with some pre-existing conditions. It's because they realize that health care costs money and bad health conditions cost a LOT of money. Health care needs to be addressed, but the plan needs to be realistic and people need to have realistic expectations, not blue sky expectations.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  211. Melvin Law

    Obama is pushing a poorly thought out plan and giving the American people false information to sell it. This is the same tactic that Bush used to get us into Iraq. Obama states that we pay more for healthcare than any other country and yet we are no healthier because of this money we spend.

    Obama is leaving out the facts that we Americans have the highest rate of obesity, unhealthy behaviors, poor prenatal care, and noncompliance with treatments such as controlling hypertension and diabetes than any other country. This leads to higher costs and higher complication rates. His plan needs to address these issues. Taxing junk food, corn syrup, transfats, tobacco, etc. and financial penalties for medical noncompliance would be more appropriate than taxing the top earners who are more likely have the healthiest lifestyles.

    Melvin,
    Nashville, TN

    July 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  212. CK from KS

    Someone, whether it be pthe President or members of Congress, needs to be frank and honest with the American public. If you want health care reform, it's going to cost a good deal of money and there are two ways to handle it. One way is to continue to spending to oblivion adding to the tremendous debt created for our children, or, admit that taxes will have to be raised...to everyone...rich, middle income and poor. It's a 300lb gorilla that no one wants to recognize.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  213. Marianne from Phila

    Start with the issues everyone agrees upon: 1. pre-existing conditions must be erased as a cause to deny or charge more for insurance 2. No American can be dropped fro a plan because of illness 3. self insured companies cannot fire an employee because of medical bills. Full disclosure of the realities of the Canadian system should be explored and lessons taken. Fact Canada lacks Doctors in sufficient numbers to see patients; this resulted from poor reinbursement. This has begun here! Medicare is the safest, least exclusionary insurance you can have. A government plann does not mean a gov bureacrat makes insurance decisions. We already have an insurance beuracray that is obnoxious and limiting! STOP THE GOP LIES!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  214. Robert

    Since no one tackles the real cost; it will be a failure!!
    First tackle the greedy doctors and hospitals. ( See Michael Jackson's doctor, which is only the top of the iceberg.!!!)
    Also the Pharma CEO's.
    Then the stupid costly adds on TV.
    Then the tort lawyers
    I was used to European Healthcare and Canadian and never had the same problems.
    This country is 30 years behind in healthcare!!!
    Sorry to be so negative!!!

    Rob

    July 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  215. Mullie

    I'm a U.S. citizen living in Canada. I was on Medicare before I moved here and now I have fantastic health care and free prescription medicines. I've
    been referred to specialists twice and never have to pay a co-pay. Yes, my taxes are a bit higher but why not? Pres. Obama should take another look at Canada's Health Care Plan. Works for me.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  216. Regina, PA

    President Obama needs to show the American people that he is truly going to reform health care. That is to say, stop pandering to the special interests of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. So far, I'm not seeing this. Also, I would like to know just what is in this "health care reform" bill. So far, seems short on specifics and long on vagueness. As someone who will be in the Medicare ranks in another decade or so, I am very concerned about medical care or the lack thereof. The President needs to clarify those little catch words he's been using. I think it is very important to get a good health care system for Americans; but it needs to be done right and soon!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  217. Dave Dubinsky

    Boston, MA – The media would serve our country best by maintaining the focus on the facts associated with health care reform. Once again, the naysayers are stealing the show with their fearmongering around many of the issues associated with meaningful health care reform. Ignore the obstructionists and move forward with health care reform. Americans must beat down the insurance lobby and fight for universal health care coverage.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  218. Lee in MN

    Just tell the truth. The current system is broken and corrupt. I have ALS and the medical care provided by my insurance company provider gets a grade of D -. The care provided to me as a veteran by the VA scores an A . ABSOLUTELY there is a need for MAJOR reform. I have been charged $75 for a hand shake and another $80 by a clinical coordinator to tell me the doctor was running late.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  219. Tyler from Fort Wayne

    The president can regain momentum by taking charge and telling congressional democrats what he wants them to fight for. This is a chance for Obama to shine, to become what America thought he was in November, a once in a lifetime leader. If he can regain this momentum and rally his own party, the democrats may win more seats next year and win an important health care program.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  220. Nancy, Tennessee

    President Obama is going to need to give his health care reform a shot in the arm so that it can compete against the campaign being run by the other side. It's not quite clear who is campaigning the hardest against reform. It is clear that the mention of the C word strikes fear in the hearts of most Americans. Ads showing people who got health care for this dreaded disease by going outside their government run health care are running daily. This is too important to get it wrong and let it die. President Obama needs his own advertisements for health care for the unfortunate sons and daughters who have none. Americans need to be a little less self-serving and think of his neighbors who have no health care coverage.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  221. Gemma

    I think it is generally agreed that had Clinton been successful with Healthcare Refom in the 90's then we would not be in this mess so can we really afford to not pass Healthcare Reform a second time?

    Gemma

    Florida

    July 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  222. BigD Health Care Solutions, Mn

    President Obama + Congress has to Find an Innovative Way to Pay For the Plan that Doesn't Single Out Or Finger Any one Group.

    I Believe There Has to Be a Way of Raising Revenue Besides Sales Tax that is Already in Place.

    A "Legitimate Sane Fair Honest Utilities + Energy Tax" Offers a Lot of Fair Coverage + Fair Diversity + Fair Sharing to Gain Revenue All the Way Across the Board ro Pay for Health Care,

    We All Need to Face the Fact that We all Need to Chip In to Pay for It.

    It Wouldn't have the Burden + Complications of Implementing a Sales Tax.

    The Poorer People Already Get Subsidized for Utilities + Larger Wealthier Companies + Such Could Pay More

    July 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  223. Audrey

    Health care for congress (256 democrats and 178 republicans) costs the taxpayer $5,642,000 (434 individuals times $13,000 per person).
    That amount does not include many other people who are covered in the same way (other gov't officials, veterans, etc. Perhaps health care plans could be equalized so all the above and all citizens are covered equally. I am a dual citizen and health care is of great concern
    What do you think?

    July 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  224. Charlie Williams

    Get toughtand treat the Republicans as nasty as they treat him. He also needs to get serious with the Democratic Congress. The people elected him to get a health plan and he needs to fight for us.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  225. Elisa Clayton

    I think if he continues to attend town hall meetings across the country and presents real life stories of American citizens and gives examples of how a government option help citizens in Canada, Great Britain, and France (since the media isn't doing this) he'll get a bill passed. In fact the most disheartening thing about the current debate is that it's lead by those with great health care benefits; the members of the press, and the politicians.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  226. Alan--Wilmington, NC

    The President should tell Congress that it now loses it's Health Care Benefits until everyone in the United States gets Health Care Benefits.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  227. kishen c.rao

    by being persistent...people need to call sanators, and congressmen...too...we need to pass this legislation, otherwise nation will be in biggest chaos....truth....please see it is passed, it is long overdue....we need to pass health care reform...

    July 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  228. Joe Atanasio

    I think President Obama should ask congress NOT to recess until at the very least they agree on the principles of a package that can work for all Americans. Then they can recess. Once they return they can fine tune the legislation. By this action they would have a work in progress. I also think that the President should extend COBRA for all participants so that these folks do not lose health care benefits and add to the problem

    July 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  229. Babs

    When we travel out of the country we are not entitled to free healthcare.Anyone in this country not a legal citizen is not entitled to everything we paid in social security. They are not entitled to our benefits of being an American citizen. There would be enough money and no change would be necessary. They took our jobs, our benefits and were giving them our country.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  230. Rex from Pa.

    If people were more informed I'm sure those with 1/2 a brain would back him on healthcare reform.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  231. Charles Reese

    These are the reasons for your survey on Health Care Reform:
    41% want Health Care Reform this year. They are either not insured or under insured due to cost.
    30% who say later are insured but healthy.
    24% do not care because they are well insured and are insensitive to others needs.
    If Obama cannot get the insurance companies in line there is no chance of Health Care Reform to any degree.
    Duh!! Nobody wants to pay more than they are already paying.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  232. wildbill from Clarksville, Md

    1) Repair the concern many have now about his quick, emotional response without the facts concerning the Prof Gates issue. That action will cause many to think that this is the way he makes decisions.
    2) (from a registered Independant) consider input from Republicans. They do represent many Americans too. I believe that the President represents ALL the people, not just Democrats. this has got to be a bipartisan luion, one which is good for all the people.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  233. Fred Dean Weaver Oklahoma City

    Jack No healthcare till Repiblican a some democrates stop taking bribes from insurance and drug companys. I dont want health care from Republicans after Their drug bill that was costy and huge doughnut hole, the woman who called on profesor said there was 3 men breaking in, But police found only professor iat home. Did she lie? Were was the other rober? if police knew there was more then 2 men breaking in profeeor house home they should surround house with back up but did mot Obama is Right police acted stypidy. Next time policeman might get shot.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  234. rlandschoot

    graft, welfare cheats, suv's at drive up windows. If health care passes, can you imagine the 8 million people becoming elbible at the doctor's office? No way, Jack, the rich will have good care, the poor and elderly will pay through the nose

    July 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  235. Brian D. Jones

    Sure he can, if we all demand it from our own representatives and senators. I find it funny that Republican ads on this issue warn us to "not let government beauraucrats get between you and your doctor." I suppose they think insurance company beauraucrats are much better? At least we get to vote on our government's performance–did anyone get to vote on AIG's?

    July 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  236. Jim Green

    Jack....The media is amazing! It looks like a bill will not come ouit of the congress before they go on vacation-and suddenly healthcare reform is dead-WHERE ON EARTH DO YOU GUYS GET THIS NONSNESE-eveyone agrees that our current system is not sustainable-we have no choice but reform....and it isonly the Republican propaganda mill that is lying to kill reform....their idea of reform is making it illegal to sue your doctor is he cuts the wrong leg off in an operation......

    July 27, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  237. Lynn

    I think that Obama needs to try to be more specific with proposed health care changes and exactly how it will affect us individually. One minute he states everyone who is happy with their insurance can keep it but on the alternative side, employers may have the choice to go with the public option. We need more clarity as well as more focus. Allowing himself to be detoured by the Gates situation was not a plus in his column and detracted from the overall healthcare issue and its importance.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  238. Mike

    Forty one percent plus thirty percent equals seventy one percent of Americans in favor of healthcare reform. The terrible thing is that this country does not have a alternative solution when Insurance companies deny health insurance. The insurance companies are the problem with our health care mess. They are interested in bottom line profits at the expense of human lives. Just read some of the articles at healthcarereform.org or watch the Bill moyers pbs broadcast with former cigna vp Wendel Potter. According to Mr. Potter, the healthcare industry is corrupted by wall street expectations and greed. Insurance companies do not think about individual people. They think about numbers and whether or not they are going to meet Wall Street's expectations. Aetna dropped eight million insured americans in one year because the numbers indicated they might be high risk. The failure to pass a healthcare reform bill is absurd. Every politician should personally write a apology to every american who was denied health insurance and is suffering from a debilitating disease.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  239. Carol Auburndale, Florida

    Jack, The way President Obama can get the health care plan he wants is to take the House and Senate members past and present and all their families health care away and tell them they have to go out and buy their own. You can bet your sweet butt something will get done then. It would be nice for some of them to have to pay for their own so they see how much the American people are being ripped off and let them get turned down for coverage for pre-existing conditions. Let them have a little taste of what we pay and then things will get fixed.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  240. Dale

    I have an idea that might get those blustering, pork-barrel spending, politcally self-serving, wealthy hipocrits off their asses.....suspend THEIR terrific, tax-payer generated health care AND vacations until they sit down and DO SOMETHING that even resembles representing main stream American citizens!!!!

    July 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  241. Paggy in Minneapolis

    Obama should present the facts about the extraordinary profit of health conglomerates, ( $859 million last year in one case) and how this impacts the cost of health care. His plan for a public option would create conpetition and go a ling way toward extending coverage and keeping costs in check.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  242. Gary In Lexington

    Continuously remind the American people and businesses how incredibly expensive insurance is, be very specific in dicussing how much it increases annually and remind the Senators and Representatives who oppose reform, what a sweet deal they have every single time he speaks on the topic. When he speaks of 16% of the GDP, he must convert that into real dollars. Above all else, he must continuously reassure them that he is NOT talking about socialized medicine. And, that party that always relies upon fear as a deterrence, he must overcome that ridiculous strategy they love to employ.
    Gary,
    Lexington,KY

    July 27, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  243. Bennett Edwards

    As a former federal employee for the Va Medical System, I had a choice of 10 nationwide options which included; APWU, BCBC, GEHA, Mail Handlers, NALC, & SAMBA. A number HMOs are also available by state and/or region. Individual plans are as low as $75 per month and family plans can be as low as $160 per month. Several million are currently under the aforementioned Plans (which are mostly private Plans). If these are good enough for Federal Employees, then they're good enough the Government Options. Put your reporters on this.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  244. Max B

    I think he needs to do something drastic: the first thing that comes to mind is to ban all ads for prescription drugs. We should choose the medicine based on the judgement from our doctors, not on which comercial we liked the best. Then the pharmecutical companies can divert the money they used to spend on useless advertising to make their products cheaper

    July 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  245. Frank Braun

    Obama will have to get the over payed,over fed and over sexed, under brained senate and house members to finaly do some thing for the citzens of the United States. Hell boarder busters can get more from the goverment than American citizens can. Frank Warrenton Mo.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  246. Johnny From SC

    I don't see anything changing because there are to many politicans that are more concerned with their political futures and their parties to really care about the people that are paying ridiculous premiums thru company group plans and the folks that can't afford coverage at all. I personally pay $7200 a year to insure my family and $30 for co-pays and prescription's. If the folk's that were against the Health Reform Plan came up with a reasonable compromise then I'm sure we could get this passed. However; There are to many Elected officals that are more concerned with going against anything that Obama says or does that they don't see that he is trying to help the people that voted them into office in the first place. But wait until it's time for reelection hopefully the citizens will be smart enough to get them out of office. Trust me I live in South Carolina and I already know who not to vote for.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  247. Kanako Kashima

    Citizens need to be active in writing letters and e-mails and calling their congressperson and senators. The representatives are elected to answer to their constituents. If the citizens don't have a voice, the government will remain off-track.

    July 27, 2009 at 6:04 pm |