September 2nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Congress pass health care reform after summer recess?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is getting ready to shift his strategy when it comes to health care reform - after a brutal month of August that wounded and divided his party.

Politico reports top White House officials say the president is going to be more active in the debate - something he probably should have done weeks ago.

Mr. Obama is considering a major speech that lays out his health care demands as soon as next week, when Congress returns from its recess.

And despite pressure from his base, the president reportedly has no plans to insist on a public insurance option. This would likely anger many liberals, but could show the president is willing to take on members of his own party to get things done. Nancy Pelosi said no bill would pass the House without a public option.

One top Republican, Senator Lamar Alexander is warning that there will be a "minor revolution" if Democrats reform health care without GOP backing. He says the town hall meetings show Americans are "scared to death" of reform; and going it alone would "wreck our health care system and wreck the Democratic Party."

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows a majority of Americans want Congress to keep working on the health care bills already in progress. 25-percent say they should pass with few changes. 28-percent say they should pass with major changes. 25-percent say lawmakers should start over. And 20-percent say they should stop working on health care all together.

Here’s my question to you: With the August recess ending, what are the chances Congress will pass health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Trueman in Toronto writes:
Hi Jack, Short answer: No. Long answer: Hell no. Too many people make too much money off the current system to ever let it go, and they'll do everything short of murder to keep their cash cow in the barn. Half of the opposition is simply trying to bring down the Democratic Party and Obama himself; the other half has either a special interest in the for-profit system or an ignorant fear of change.

Becker from Texas writes:
If the Obama administration continues to be tone deaf to the American public, health care reform will pass. If it is passed, I agree with Lamar Alexander that there will be a major blood letting at the next election. I have the lowest view ever of our politicians at this point.

Pete from Arkansas writes:
Private insurers can make campaign donations, a government program can't. Enough said about why Congress won't support a public option?

Edward from Dana Point, California writes:
Winston Churchill once said: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." So too is Obama's plan to change the medical procedures in this nation. It's as close to Socialism as we've ever been before, and just because we bought a "pig in the poke" (the present Democrat majority) doesn't mean we must feed the animal at the trough forever.

Peter writes:
The Democrats are still drunk from success and haven't sobered up enough to realize that the party of "no" is not going to let anything pass. The Democrats will have to sober up, stick together and pass a health care bill. As far as the public option, we already have it: those who can't pay for health care don't and the "Public" has to make it up.

Craig from Arizona writes:
According to your poll, only 25% of the respondents approve of the bill as it exists. I therefore predict Congress will pass it immediately.

Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. John from Alabama

    Jack: I believe if President Obama compromises with the bluedog Democrats a bill will pass after the August recess. President Obama needs to be clear and concise about the bill to be passed. The Repiblicans can either join the Democrats or they can show how poor losers they are the rest of this session. President Obama and the Democrats in Congress need to stand together an pass needed legislation in 2009 and 2010.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  2. Conor in Chicago

    Congress won't pass anything. In this weird world where any opposition can say anything and it is ruled "objective" and "reasonable" by the "50/50" rule that media outlets supposedly follow there are far too many distortions, untruths, half-truths, and fear mongering going on out there. The Republicans are using media to do what they do best: create controversy, create sensationalism, sell more ad space. Thanks for helping out the people you are suppose to serve-the American people...

    September 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  3. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It won't happen without the Democrats compromising. Whether they were informed or not, the protesters across the country are also voters. If they feel ignored, their votes will reflect that in the next election. Do you know any Democrats with a spine? I don't.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    Since Congress is unwilling to discuss any true reform – such as getting Congress out of health care altogether, and ending the various insurance/drug/AMA monopolies – one can only hope that they will fail to pass some joke of a bill.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  5. Jayne

    Yesterday I read that Senator Judd Gregg, a Republican from New Hampshire, plans to block the passage of health care legislation through procedural challenges. This is not only immoral, it is obscene. With health insurance CEO's raking in as much as $100,000 an hour, it's mind boggling any person who claims to be either a patriot or a Christian would side with them over millions of suffering Americans. I hope health reform passes with a strong public option, but if it doesn't we will remember who voted against it asn we will vote against them.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  6. john .... marlton, nj

    No, health care reform is a joke... It's not about reforming health care, its about giving away free health care on backs of working Americans.. Repeat after me .... we do not want the government running healthcare ....

    September 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Terry, Chandler AZ

    The chances of some form of health care reform legislation passing is 100%. The chances of that reform being close to what the president is requesting is somewhere near 1%.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  8. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    I don't want our loser do nothing double dealing congress to ram a
    weak bill down our throats this year.We nned to slow down and start over...............period!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  9. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    we are not repeating the past...these times are over! Families, businesses and governments can no longer afford literally the status quo, period! It takes leadership to do what needs to be done in the interest of the country!

    September 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  10. Joe CE

    There is no real information to make judgement at this time. If I were betting, I would bet that something passes. I would not bet that it would be worthwhile.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Cameron in SF, CA

    None. Obama's approval rating is hovering at 50%. Not everyone wants to go down with the ship.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Cheryl in Bluffton, South Carolina

    The odds depend entirely on how President Obama chooses to respond to the avalanche of misinformation from the Republicans. If he doesn't step up to the plate and swing for the fence, I'd say the chances are slim to none, Jack.

    September 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    something will pass BUT it will probably be so watered down that it will be as useless as the senators and congressmen that cobbled it together.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    Heaven only knows, Jack, because I do not. Opponents have used fear and misdirection to convince a lot of Americans, even those whom it would help, that the reform is bad. All I can hope for is that the Senate and House work on their respective proposed bills, then find a compromise that works. We cannot count on the GOP members of either branch of Congress to do anything productive, and there are millions of us underinsured or uninsured tax-payers who are praying hard that something effective is done soon.

    Think about it...upward of a possibly 50+ million Americans are uninsured, and noone knows how many are underinsured, and we are facing what could be the most dangerous flu epidemic in 100 years. The potential for death and economic disruption is incalculable. How more terroristic could the scenario be?

    September 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  15. Don (Ottawa)

    Next to nill Jack. The Republicans have done an excellent job is scaring the public into reacting against health care reform. They have even scared some Democrats into being against it. When will the Democrats realize that the days of bipartisanship are over and that the ability to compromise was a gift that died with Senator Kennedy?

    September 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  16. Peg from NY

    Very sadly I fear there is little chance of effective health care reform being passed. Health care is a right not a priveledge. All American legal citizens should recieve heath care equal to every US Senator.

    Lobbiests, politicians, insurance companies, etc will do their level best to keep the staus quo.

    How unbelievably sad for us all. Wake up! One day it could be one of you with NO health care!

    September 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  17. Greg, Ontario

    Non existent. America does not deserve a health care system that includes every citizen. America is the perfect example of the modern version of survival of the fittest or richest. You have money you survive if not life goes on for the rest of us.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  18. Susan Frost

    Not unless the President (1) explains the program to the general, semi-literate public in words of one syllable, (2) realizes that bipartisanship is a pipe dream and (3) takes the bull by the horns and reminds the Republicans that WE won and THEY lost. These are nasty people he's dealing with and he's got to get tough.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    September 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  19. Pamela holt

    Pam holt, foley, al why should they wait? They are falling for the republican bluff. Once they quit being afraid of what the republican elite keep threatening, and put we,the American peoples public healthcare reform thru, they will see Obama and congress ratings sky rocket. Right now the reason both congress and Obama ratings are down is because they are going against obamas own advice, falling for the Omer-dokee!!!!

    September 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  20. roger

    Health care is important and meaningful, and would benefit millions of americans who now have no health care, but the money is in the pockets of the insurance companies. Passing health care=loss of donations from ins. co.'s– No way will congress pass it.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  21. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    There are too many greedy,selfish,politicians and money makers on the Health Care today. They don't want to lose that much money. Jack they don't care if we know it or not.politicians are getting braveier each year.It is pass time to jail the crooks.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  22. Melissa

    I doubt it. The Republicans have had a chance to scare the crap out of people, so it won't pass. So now we're screwed because the Republicans are selfish and greedy.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  23. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    I think that if there was more investigative journalism, into the consequences of keeping the current system and who is indeed benefitting, the chances of passage would be great.

    On the other hand, if coverage is simply defined by giving republicans carte blanche to spread untruths and hoodwink their constituants, we're doomed.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  24. Michael Odegard (PDX, OR)

    There will be no healthcare reform or reform of anything, under this congress. The fact is plain, Jack, and not flattering. The only thing these baby boomers and their congress know how to do is steal from future generations. So, if we get a health care bill then you know its just going to be more baby boomer entitlements that are charged to the Gen X charge card. Obama is not the man he pretended to be on the campaign trail and you just can't teach these old dogs new tricks.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  25. Karen in CA

    They'll pass a weak bill which lets insurance companies and big pharma make out like bandits. There will be no public option to compete with them to keep rates low and whatever pre-existing conditions they're forced to cover will be way offset by tons of new customers they get through universal coverage. Pharma has already won since Obama gave up on price bargaining with them. He has to pass something and he'll accept the minimum he must to call it a victory.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  26. Sean

    How about we suspend health care for the Congress, Senate and Executive branch until they come up with a plan we all can live with.
    We know we need to get a handle on this. If those gasbags in Washington had to live on our level you bet they'd get something done fast. We have other pressing business to get to. Like surviving this economy and the two wars we're mired in.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  27. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I'd have to give them less than a 50% chance and especially since there is so much dissention among the public as well as all of the money against it that is being spent by the current Insurance companies. Maybe if the insurance people would not spend so much on being against it they could reduce their rates by 10% and the cost of hospital or doctor visits would decline as well.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  28. Heath N. Missoula, Montana

    If the President does give a speech of some sort in the near future to give congress some clear ideas he wants to see in the bill, I think the House & Senate Democrats will have something to focus on. This might provide a way for the Blue Dogs & othe dems to create comprimise. No matter what, they will need Kennedy's spot to be filled by a Dem...soon, or somehow pick up a Republican or two in the Senate...that, I think is quite unlikely.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  29. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, if it is left up to the republicans there will be no Health Care bill passed. I think there is a 50 50 chance for the democrats to get together and pass a healthcare bill. The democrats gave us social security and Medicare. Now the republicans have a chance to help give us healthcare. But they chosen to make health care reform into a political football for their own political gain. If something isn't done soon about our healthcare the only people that will have it, will be the rich who make up the majority of the republican party.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  30. Bruce from Laguna Beach, CA

    The chances of passage will increase if Congress adopts a plan that is simple enough for voters to understand.

    Congress should scrap the hundreds of pages of mandates and sell the one item that will force private insurers to end their abuses. That item is the public option which will force private insurers to behave or lose customers to the NEW competition.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  31. Beverly Swanson

    I sure hope so with or without bi-partisan support! More and more of us are falling through the cracks. We thought we had good health care, then the company said next year there's only one, high priced plan – it's that or else. But they weren't done, next come the layoff notices with even higher priced COBRA. The insurance and drug companies have had it their way long enough. We have care for the rich, and even that's causing the country to go broke. We need basic care that's affordable for everyone. Let the insurance companies sell the rich insurance for everything not covered.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  32. Bob White, Kansas

    Healthcare reform may not be passed with the help of any Republicans but a majority of congress, all Democrats, will pass healthcare reform. And the vast majority of Americans will respond very affirmatively. The GOP has reduced itself to "toublemakers."

    September 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  33. Tom from Philly

    if pros/cons are opposite, whats the opposite of progress? congress?

    The paperwork for single payer? that was buried by ted, that man should have stepped down when he got ill. everywhere else 65 yo men are dumped becaue they are too old to work. And as senator a 77 yo termanilly ill man can hold onto his position till his death.

    I am the post camelot generation. The other kennedy's were already dead by the time i reached a cognisant age. All i remember is that the one that remained had a questionable past. Seeing we have been in a healthcare stalemate my entire life, no gains were made. Meaning his lifes work didnt produce a single payer plan, and in his dying year he did more to prevent healthcare reform, than did the republicans, they vote no he couldnt vote, only yes votes count you do the math.

    Its insurance reform jack i tried to tell you that before.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  34. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    I refer to today's other question, "Will the fear of getting swine flu change your daily life this fall"? If as some hint, H1N1 could becomes become a serious epidemic. If that occurs, the public may then be clamoring for government help. Maybe the President should wait to see if this occurs, if it does, a health bill may be acceptable to the public. Kinda like a Swine-11 event, to move us.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  35. lockeanddemosthenes

    The chances are very high. Regardless of what side people are on, there is a majority consensus that healthcare needs some sort of reform. How long it will take is another issue entirely, but the argument is about what changes, not whether or not change is necessary.


    September 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  36. Gary H. Boyd

    The White House, Senate and Congress have turned health care reform into a 3 ring circus. Each has its own ringmaster - Obama, Reid and Pelosi. All are beginning to look like a bunch of clowns. Democrats running for reelection must feel like they're on the high trapeze without a net while the Republicans are milling about like a bunch of elephants not interested in joining the parade. No, - health reform will not pass.

    Gary Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  37. Lucy

    I'd say there's a decent chance of HCR being passed, especially since Obama sounds quite willing to compromise. If I were in Congress, I would pass anything just to A.) create some form of change B.) move on to another topic, please. If a little bit of reform is passed and enacted, maybe all of these "scared to death" Americans (**cough** close-minded people **cough**) will see just how not scary change can be, and that it can actually be a change for the better.
    SF, CA
    writing from: Garching, Germany

    September 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  38. Tony from Torrington

    If they pass anything, it won't be Obama's original bill. It will be watered down, ineffective, ugly and ultimately supported by Democrats only. Why? Because as Howard Dean stated, the lawyers won't like tort reform, and that's the only thing that will help reduce healthcare costs. The American people have made it clear that they don't want the government involved in their healthcare decisions, period.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  39. Steve

    The chances that Congress will pass a Health Care Reform Bill is 100 %. The President played this very smartly by keeping his distance and giving very broad guide lines on what he was seeking in reform of America's Health Care system and letting the people's representatives(Congressman/Senators) take the lead in developing a Health Care Reform package. The people have spoken through those representatives and now the President can step in and give some specific guidance which will be predicated on what he and his staff has gleaned from this very robust debate in both houses of Congress. President Obama's approach allows all voices to be heard in the debate of this critical reform effort and allows him to lead the effort when the timing is right. We will get reform, but it may not look anything like all of the assumptions everyone may have originally anticipated.

    Clifton, VA

    September 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  40. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Chuck Todd found out that when the public gets the facts it supports the proposed legislation. I think that once the public realizes that it has been terrorized by the industry lobbyists, the support will only grow. We hate being suckered. Congress will be pressured to pass legislation.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  41. Frank from Peterborough

    There is zero chance on passing any legislation with Republican support as 20,000 needless deaths each year for lack of health care insurance coverage means nothing to this group of evil backwards hillbillies.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  42. fred hughes

    I can only hope that congress will pass a health bill but it was just naive of President Obama and us , the voters to think that our legislators were going to do the right thing for the people. Congress is not going to give up the fat pockets of the lobbyist. Deceiving the voters is just what they do to win an election and deceit is the battery that keeps them going and going and going..................


    Livingston, AL

    September 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  43. Wm in PA

    The congress should pass universal single payer health care. They will not. Our corporate owned politicians have been bought to provide great wealth to the few; and they do. Got no health insurance? Commit a crime. We take care of prisoners. Judges require it. The politicians would never do it without the threat of contempt charges. And the public loves putting folks in jail even though it makes us less safe and squanders yet more billions of dollars.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  44. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The August recess has ended--–now Congress is working on preparation for recessing for the Holidays--health care reform is "dead,"--–and the dead doesn't need healthcare--but rather burial services.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  45. jyll

    hey Jack, maybe it would be a good idea for congress to stay on an extended recess....without pay....for a couple of more weeks....
    jyll form TX

    September 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  46. Arlene


    I sure hope so. What I find most interesting is, the only people talking healthcare reformed down are people who have some of the best health insurance in the country and members of the media. (Who I suspect are also well covered.) The reason no one is hearing from the 47 million without health care is because in addition to no health insurance, they have very little money. No money, no voice... Please speak for us Mr. President...

    Arlene in Atlanta

    September 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  47. wanda j brown

    Hi Jack;
    Just for the record Lamar Alaexander has got a lousy record of accomplishments for his time in the senate so I don't think his
    "minor revolution" comment will hold water with anybody. Tennessee
    hasn't exactly been a role model when it comes to ethical conduct. A lot of the garbage being pressed by the GOP is just that: Garbage. We gave this president a mandate and if he doesn't follow through we will replace him too. But not with another disastrous republican moron, which seems to be most of the GOP.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  48. Beth, MA

    There isn't any chance that Congress will pass health care reform. The Republicans are all of the same mind as DeMint; he has said that he intends to make health care reform Obama's Gallipoli. He, and most of the other Republicans, want the president to fail. At a recent town hall meeting, DeMint allowed an absolutely ridiculous comment, that health care reform is just a means to steal banking information to stand without challenge.

    As the Republicans have lied their way through the summer, I am increasingly proud of my vote for Obama. This man is too honorable himself to have understood just how far the Republican party is willing to go to derail what should be a right in this country.

    As a Catholic, I am disgusted with my Church's leadership, following the far right into a position that ignores the poor and the sick.

    A visitor from Ireland asked me why it is that the US is always so willing to help other countries when it is so unwilling to help its own citizens.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |

    Jack I hope so but... I am sadly losing the faith. The Republicans (Republicants) have done everything underhanded thing they possibly can to derail health care reform. Look at the town hall meetings... those sure aren't uninsured people crying! They've been pumped full of hate by Republicans and Fox News.

    And sadly, people still think there are death panels thanks to Sarah Palin. Why oh why doesn't she go away and stay away?

    You rock, Jack!

    September 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  50. frankie

    I am an optimist. I believe the Congress will quit messing around and lying to people, and pretty soon everyone in America will be able to go to the doctor and guess what, even fill prescriptions when they need to.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  51. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Congress had better pass the health reform bill or some of them will be looking for a new job after the 2010 elections.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  52. Terry from North Carolina

    Until this package is clearly defined by the present administration I dont believe it will pass this year. People dont understand it.

    September 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  53. Jim Clapsaddle

    "For What It's Worth" (and not just healthcare or any other of our current concerns) I downloaded an MP3 copy of an old Buffalo Springfield song (almost as old as some of us) oddly named: "For What It's Worth."

    A lot of us need to remember why we think we're afaid. I'd like to hear that song a whole lot more.


    September 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  54. honestjohn in Vermont

    I doubt it will happen. I am all for a good sound Healthcare Bill but the way things are going it does not look like any substantial healthcare reform will be passed. If LBJ was president we would know the details of the plan and he would ram that bill through congress in a New York minute.

    Honestly, we are the only civilized country in the world without good healthcare. Is something wrong here? Lotta vested interests who don't want to change a thing.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  55. Jay in Texas

    I'd say the chances are about 50/50 that Congress will pass the health care legislation after this year.
    Brownwood, Texas

    September 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  56. Dee in Florida

    What do the bookmakers say in Las Vegas? Of course someone is betting on this issue.

    I think that if Congress does NOT pass some meaningful kind of health care reform many members will NOT be coming back for another term.

    And I hope that more Americans come to realize that our country NOT having a health care system that covers EVERYONE is a national disgrace!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  57. george

    Health Care reform bill will be passed, the economy will get better, our boys, and girls will be coming home from overseas (where they shouldn't have been anyways), the deficit will decline, and there will be new jobs created, the home market will survive, consumers will start buying again, the stock market will boom, the corporations will raise hell because the public has finally woke up to their gouging ways, and imports will be looking for another entry point because Americans will start buying American again, people will get back to the basics (just like they have done since the bubble burst), and things will be good again in the "Good Ol' U.S. of A.". Don't ever fret because when it get's rough, Americans will get tough , ,and say good-by to our Republican (NO) Party...

    September 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  58. Martyn Bignell

    The President had health care reform in his manifesto before the election, Q.E.D. He was elected with a majority and therefore it has to be done. Their is no choice in the matter as far as I am concerned, failure to produce this promise will let a lot of Americans down. However, the bill has been marketed very badly, which of course the republicans are delighted about; they have capitalized on this with their lying and scare tactics, (Goebals must be down their in hell applauding their propaganda) the very bottom line with all this is that a public option will cost less than what the private sector charges all of us. You only have to go on line and see how other countries deal with this, as I have said before France is number one, copy that and we will all save money; above all that the nation will as well.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  59. Jane Jones

    There is only 10 Million legitimately in need of assistance – and most of them receive Medicaid already.
    The Healthcare is a scam.
    Let's hlep those in true need and the 12 million young people who make over 75,000 dollars per yr pay for it upfront, the 10 million illegals go to the back of the line and become citizens and pay their own way – the 47 million people they keep spouting is a falsehoodd.
    If we don't have a practical approach we will end up like California shortly.,
    Jane J

    September 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  60. Curly

    Health Care will be passed when the politicians quit stuffing their pockets with lobbyist money and other favors, and both sides come up with a plan that appeals to the voters. The best thing that can happen to any health care reform is that the "leaders" in Washington have to give up the plan that they have now and go with the one that is passed.

    Curly – Wisconsin

    September 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  61. Matt

    Chances are very low, especially anything with a public option. Congressional healthcare should be revoked, and reinstated at whatever the public option becomes when it is implemented- otherwise they should pay out of pocket. Forcing them to live in the same situation as millions of Americans is the only way to force their hand, otherwise there's no incentive. It's not as if patriotism or fiscal responsibility is a value that is respected or practiced in Congress.

    Santa Barbara

    September 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  62. mike

    It will pass if they can find a way to make the Republicans go away. The Republicans have only one objective and that is to make Obama Fail.
    It is hard to believe that a group that preaches Americanism can hate so much. Where have all the flowers gone???

    September 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  63. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    I would consider it a big success if Congress could simply define what they mean by health care reform. From my observations of the actions of congress there are very few in that august body who really know what they are doing. They can take action but they will be totally unprepared to the reactions that are created due to their decisions.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  64. Wisconsin Don Racine, Wi

    It won't pass. Given that the Republicans won't vote for it because it is a miserable attempt at a bill, that leaves just the Democrats. Many of of them too know the bill is a dog so they won't vote for it because the onus will be on them only. They and they alone will have to shoulder the blame of a catastrophic mess without the lame, worn out excuse of "we inherited it" or the "problems of the last 8 years".

    September 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  65. Phil in Long Beach, Ca

    Government has destroyed Medicare, Social Security, the U.S Postal Service, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and many other programs through fiscal mismanagement. This year alone, we've squandered billions on wars and bailouts with no oversight and no endgame. Now, we suddenly believe that Government-run Healthcare is the way to go? Let's stop this madness before Congress destroys what's left of America.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  66. Kim in mpls

    Hi Jack the chances are getting slimmer day by day to get a quality overhaul done. That doesn't doesn't take away from the facts though.
    Whart are the facts? The facts as I see them... are that lobbyist for all concerned are winning by lieing through there teeth each day. Another fact is if we don't do any thing most people and a lot of companies won't be able to afford insurance. The last, 80 million people will retire all wanting what has been promised $12,000 a year for the rest of their life plus medicare.
    Jack please tell everyone what that means for our country in terms of dollars especially taking into account that the last ten years of one's life is their most expensive years medically speaking.
    80,000,000 X 12,000=960,000,000 annually for Social Security + Medical Costs for those 80,000,000 was 3.2% of GDP 2 years ago. Combined we're andding Trillions anually. So I ask you Jack do you think we need reform?

    September 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  67. Connie Moore

    Yes. I believe we will get health care this fall. Simply because we already provide medical and dental care to convicted murderers, rapists, child molesters and terriorist in our prison system. The idea that tax paying, law abiding, hard working U. S. citizens, who simply can't afford the outrageous insurance costs, don't deserve health care is unacceptable

    Safford, Arizona.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  68. Geri - Mead, Ok

    Something will probably pass as a healthcare reform bill, but I don't thing the entire thing can be done all at one time. I still am waiting for someone to explain how we are suppose to pay for healthcare reform, particularly a public option.

    Geri – Mead, Ok

    September 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  69. survalerie johnson

    jack, just a few days ago,my son friend wife, was told by her insurance co. they they will not pay for any more bills for trealment. who do you think willpay her bills when her insurance co. stop. the tax-payer.The insurance co.pocker the the for profile,and the tax-payerpays ,pays her bills.And the the republican know this.they get their pay also,How many more will have to DIE for profile.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  70. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    Unfortunately, it will probably take Ted Kennedy to rise from the dead for one last rally, but who's to say that won't happen? Not this Catholic.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I don't care what the odds of the bill passing are....good or bad, but something has to happen one way or the other. The longer the Democrats let this fester, the more time they are giving the opposition to spread even more lies and scare seniors into believing they'll be led to their deaths like sheep!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  72. steffan

    Whatever passes will not be enough. After being told that insurance would be $1024 a month, I moved to New Zealand where the single payer health care system works so well they spend 40% less, cover everyone, and Americans are flying here to get cheaper surgeries than would be found in the states. 250,000 Americans die each year from insufficient access to health care and insurance. Where are the pro-life Republicans?

    September 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  73. Kerry Florida

    I am embarrassed by the blind ignorance the whole world has been seeing at our so-called "town hall meetings". When you see the inbred hatred started by the radio show 'nuts' and the FOX joke fools who spread the terms nazi's, terrorists, socialism (which we've had for years in various govt. run programs like medicare, etc.) it sadly brings out the unintelligent people in this country who were all too happy to believe the rhetoric and lies from the previous President.

    the fact of the matter is that "if" we don't have healthcare reform medicare/medicaid will be gone in a few years and the social security will dry up and then these same ignorant fools will be puzzled and not understand what happened....We are a sad and plain dumb people...

    September 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. John

    They haven't passed it yet. We are still in a severe recession and if it costs money to fix the health care system, don't hold your breath.
    Pampa, TX

    September 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  75. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Passing a healthcare reform bill is necessary before the end of 2009. The President and Congress need to do whatever it takes to get the job done–and get it done right. Democrats need to unite and as Nike says–Just do it.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  76. Jane (Minnesota)

    I certainly hope there is a health care bill passed that actually addresses the problems in the system & not pass one for the sake of passing one. The problem is so many of them get very large campaign contributions from the very industry theat desperately needs reform. Can anyone say "Conflict of Interest?" It also amazes me how the Republicans keep up the revolution talk drum beat so well – talk that is apt to create another Timothy McVeigh as it did in the 90's. I imagine the Repubs won't assume responsibility if that happens. They'll find a way to blame the demcrats.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  77. Paul - New Orleans, LA

    It's like playing Jeporady, but with this economy swarming with job losses and America confuse on what really this reform's true purpose is I fear a fall release is not highly perdictable. However, we can always count on Santa to grant what do we want for Christmas and health care might be number 1.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  78. The Broker.

    Pass what exactly? Words? Your country is out of control. Free enterprise, does not mean, what you think it means..

    September 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  79. Ed from Tallahassee Florida

    If I were a betting man I would put the odds at 70 to 30. I do however think that in the end no side will be 100% happy with what gets passed. The Left will think it doesn't go far enough the middle will think that it should have fought harder for more concessions and the Right will be mad that they couldn't stop it or drag it out so that the could run against it in 2010.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  80. Ken in NC

    Congress passing Health Care Reform especially without a Public Option is about as likely as President Obama winning a second term and I am one of his supporters.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  81. gerry luimes

    Jack,if I were Pres.Obama I would be royally P.Oed by now.We know that Clinton has tried,Ted.Kennedy was championing it,and now this government is seeing the merists of it.Unfortunately the people ,for some insane reason, are scared of change.
    The Pres.should start to become forceful in his next address to the nation and tell them to go fly a kite and forget about improved Health Care,letting them know in the strongest terms: "The people of these Devided States of America are not worthy of any attention !"

    September 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  82. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    It's a crap-shoot, Jack.

    This is the most wishy-washy Democrat Congress, ever! They HAVE the power they need to get through everything from single payer to public options, but they "don't want to hurt anyone's feelings." Bullcrap!

    To Congress & President I say: BE the power you said you wanted, and make me proud I voted for some of you! Otherwise, you're no better than all the selfish insurance companies and politicians who are are so afraid some of THEIR incomes might dwindle, which would put their pay scales right down here with some of the rest of us! Our electd officials should remember that it is WE who pay for the best care our money can buy ... for all of THEM!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  83. Kathy in Chicago

    Obama has lost a lot of credibility with the American people, first he bails out the banks and they bailed on the american people, then he passes a huge stimulus package that we will be paying off for the next 50 years and nothing has been stimulated, no reduction in layoffs, no help for homeowners underwater with their mortgages, cash for clunkers mostly helped Toyota and now we are supposed to trust him with healthcare? I voted for Obama and I believed his "change" mantra but the only thing that has changed is that we all are blaming the democrats for the disgraced state of our country instead of the republicans. I have lost faith in all politicians, after all I live in Chicago!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  84. Theresa - PA

    Jack, I certainly hope a bill with a good public option will pass. I don't know why the media isn't commenting more on what Wendell Potter, former Vice President of Corporate Communications for CIGNA had to say about the Big Insurance Companies (the so-called Whisleblower). I have seen our premiums rise and our our out of pockets expenses explode throughout the past few years. I don't trust big business to manage my health any more than I trust the bankers managing my money. I don't know what happened to non-profit Insurance...It is just not right to profit on the Health of human beings.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  85. Jim

    For "wreck the party" Alexander and "pull the plug" Grassley threatening a "revolution" if the dems do their business without the Republicans, may well leave some Democrats behind, but the Republicans won't be left behind, they will be gone. Perhaps they can regroup in Texas after Texas cecedes from the Union. Of course they will need to turn over the keys to NASA, Interstate Highways, The Sea Ports, Soc Sec, Medicare, Army and Naval Bases, etc. Perhaps Mexico will anex them (forceably ?). We will have to build a whole new fence. Viva Rick Perry!
    Jim Los Angeles

    September 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  86. Ken in NC

    Democrats are so un-organized now that they are in the majority they couldn't pass a broke down VW on the Long Island Expressway.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  87. shirley San Jose Ca

    If a good health care bill is not passed, "We the People" should stop paying for our elected officials health care immediately. I will be happy to start the first petition to get enough signatures to put a bill out to the voter's.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  88. Simon/Orlando

    The chances of them passing a Democratic health care reform bill is very good. The chances of them being re-elected is very bad.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  89. Craig in Arizona

    According to your Poll, only 25% of the respondents approve of the bill as it exists. I therefore predict Congress will pass it immediately.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  90. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Haven’t you been paying attention? The Democrats are in charge of Congress now; therefore nothing meaningful will get done. Without the public option there will be no significant reform – and no second term for Obama.

    I railed against Johnson and Medicare when he pushed that through and dreaded the day I would have to enroll. Forty odd years later I am on it and I have to admit I was dead wrong about it. It beats the hell out of any previous healthcare plan I ever had. So I feel just like that little old lady, “…don’t let the government mess with my Medicare!”

    September 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  91. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    I don't know about you and I certainly can't speak for everyone: BUT
    I can't afford any more free stuff or tax cuts from my Uncle Sam

    September 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  92. Mike Armstrong TX.

    It may not make a diferance if over half the population dies from the swine flu vaccinations like back in the 1970's .

    September 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  93. Tim in Texas

    We have a great system. We all put a big amount of money into a pot. Then the insurance companies take 25% of it. They give part of that to congress so that nobody will ever reform the system. Then when you get sick, if you're lucky and they don't boot you out of the group, you get some of your money back to pay for a doctor. Why would anybody want to change that? We didn't want to over the last 10 years while our costs doubled, so why not just go ahead and let 'em double again over the next ten years?

    September 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  94. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Notwithstanding all the "noise" of those paid, over 65 medicare card carrying citizens, the health care bill will be passed and become a historic change in how we care for our citizens. Health care will not be the privilege of those "in the club" it will become available to "all God's children." Take that all you right wing, bible toting obstructionists!!!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  95. Brian


    Good. If President Obama wants to get health insurance reform passed, he should promptly write up a sound piece of legislation and cram it down the throat of each and every Senator and Representative in Congress. They had their time to write a bill and both parties failed miserably. Time for the boss to step in and git 'er done.

    Boise, ID

    September 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  96. Brian from Seattle

    Democrats will do what is right for the country and pass health care reform this year. It probably will not solve all problems, or be all inclusive. Social Security when it first passed only included part of the population, and FDR kept working on it in following years until most of the workforce was involved. I suspect health care reform will actually take many years, because the task is so complex.
    Will reform include adding competition for malpractice insurance, so doctors and medical facilities can get cheaper coverage? Will medical quality control be improved so the estimated 100,000 patients a year that contract infections after surgery is reduced? Medical mistakes are one of the leading causes of death in this country. Tort reform for malpractice suits can help reduce costs, but not as much as getting rid of the cause of them.
    Will the cost of medical screenings like mri's be included? I recently had an mri-$2,500,mostly covered by my cobra insurance. I looked up the cost of a machine-$3.7 million dollars roughly. Facilities with mri machines are well booked. They can do 5 screenings an hour. If they only do 2, that is $5000 an hour, $40,000 a day, $200,000 a week for about $10 million a year. Once the machine is paid off, costs still go up 10% or more a year. Plus, the facility depreciates the machine on their taxes. Their has to be a way to get some cost savings after the initial investment is paid off in a reform bill.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  97. Lindsay

    It's PRESIDENT Obama. Not "Mr. Obama"

    The man deserves the respect due his office.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  98. RanDe from SoCal

    The Democrats are talking about using a trigger to implement a public option. This option would delay the inevitable economic damage to our economy to pass the 2010 elections. Maybe the Republicans should just lay back and let the Democrats pass their socialized healthcare plan so the full economic impact would be evident sooner, that way the Democrats could be blamed for the dissolution of the United States as we know it, before 2010 and for sure by 2012

    September 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  99. Alice

    I hope we can get this done. Why do we say that basic health care is a right for our senior citizens and not the rest of the American people? They have government run health care and it has served them very well. I hope President Obama will stand up and fight for the "Public Option".

    September 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  100. Adam Mercer


    Do they really have a choice? The country will in all likelihood break itself if nothing is done to reduce costs. Medicare is in trouble. Millions have nothing to fall back on and many who are "covered" find they are not if they get seriously ill. Medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy. Seriously, is doing nothing really an option?

    September 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  101. Carolyn PA

    Congress is in the pocket of the big pharmaceutical companies so the only way that Congress will pass it is if Americans get angry and demand it. The people who are against health care would be the same ones who would argue against the wheel – we are doing fine without the wheel, leave well enough alone!!! They believe the lies promoted by the Big Pharma. We pay five times the amount for drugs that they pay in France – I have a friend who has lived there the past 20 years and is very happy with it. Obama ought to get angry and explain it better...we don't have the option of Mr. Nice Guy anymore. We spend the most for health care and are tied with Mexico for results. What's wrong with this picture?? Congress. But we are allowing them to do it.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  102. Katie

    Republicans are scaring everyone? The truth of this healthcare bill certainly is scary, that is for sure.

    All of the liberal comments on this page are hilarious! Keep it up, libs–gives me a good, hardy laugh for the day!

    The healthcare bill out there now will never pass. The only way a healthcare bill will pass is if the dems wake up and realize that the concerns are legitimate.

    Americans are waking up!! 2010, here we come!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  103. Bryan from Georgia

    Jack – Middle Class American's need the Public Option!

    Medical Insurance companies don't want the Public Option because they don't want to give up the outrageous profits they have been making over the last decade with "their Death Panels" – that decide whether they will cover you or deny you because you have pre-existing conditions or you may need a life saving medical treatment.

    Times have changed. This is not 1994! Insurance companies have pissed off way too many patients, doctors – and even Pharma's. They can't count on those groups to rally behind them this time around!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  104. A Southern Lady - No. Carolina

    Health care reform will pass only when the Presidents and the Democrats tell the Republicans to "take a hike." The Republicans never intended any reasonable dialog concerning health care and their sole purpose was to stop all conversation so they can protect their big cash donors – insurance companies, drug companies and medical companies. They far-right wing of the R party sent all these nut cases to the health care meetings to stop any debate and, they succeeded. The Republicans will never act in the best interests of the average person – they only protect their own!!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  105. Katie

    Whats next? Socialized healthcare for pets? Wouldn't surprise me...

    September 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  106. Sam in Florida

    Health reform will pass, but only after the Republican party makes a shambles of what the bill could have been.
    By the time this health reform bill is passed, it won't come to anything close to what President Obama wanted for the people of this country.
    It's just a damn shame that the wealthy always have it their way!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  107. Jim


    The chances of Congress passing SOME kind of health care reform legislation are 100%. The real question is how much bite will it have. If the Republicans have their way it'll be so watered down as to be nearly worthless. If President Obama really believes health care reform is crucial, he should come out swinging. If that causes a "minor revolution" then bring it on. The Republicans have been hammering Obama and the democrats since he took office. It's time to fight back with every weapon they've got. No more Mr. Nice Party!

    Reno, Nevada

    September 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  108. Karl from SF, CA

    They better, since it appears the White House has finally accepted the fact that “bipartisan” isn’t in the Republican vocabulary and Senators Ensley and Snake-in-the-Grassley are as sincere as a couple of two-bit hookers. Now it’s time to twist the “Blue Dog’s” arms and let them know a no vote on this is unacceptable for re-election support from the DNC. Do what LBJ did to get Medicare passed. Squeeze them until it hurts. Make it the full featured “Ted Kennedy” health care reform bill.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  109. Mary Jo

    Congress MUST pass a health care bill, and the criteria laid out by the President are logical, reasonable, and certainly should be able to be written into legislative language so that they are understandable and workable. All of those Republicans and other people who are like Chicken Little scared to death that the sky is falling if anyone does anything will shut up once the law is passed and reform is underway. Congressmen and Senators need to just hold their nose and vote yes and get this debate over with. This is just ludicrous. No one has moved and no one will move away from their self-interest. If the Democrats cannot pass health care reform with their current majority they should all go home and stay put. We can just elect a President and let him run the country by himself. I am tired of hearing the same thing over and over and over. Let's get it done and move on.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  110. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Let's see what the President says next week. Generally, if he can get Baucus into his stable, a new Massachussets Senator and all the Democrats to vote for cloture (maybe with a Republican or two), he will get the bill through.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  111. Eldon

    Not comprehensive health care legislation, but a compromised health care bill necessitated by the power of the health insurance and pharmaceutical for-profit industries that have used some of their massive profits to sow fear and provoke anger.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  112. Cant Wait till 2010

    If Congress and the Senate are opting out of the plan is it really so great? We heard so much about the democrat supermajorities, so why do they need republican support? Could it be that they need scapegoats on both sides of the aisle (sort of a murder-suicide situtation)? Even Obama has backed off the public option, before he was for it again, and has now backed off again, perhaps that should tell you something.
    While it may pass it will be marked by a lot of political manuevering and will not be accepted by the majority of the people, even if they manage to pull of something worthwhile, which I highly doubt..

    September 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  113. Janelle in Missouri

    Unless the government win a trillion dollar lottery, the chances are about nil for passing legislation that adds another trillion dollars to the deficit. Unless Congress can show proof that health care reform will not cost Americans more than they are paying now, Americans will demand that nothing be done.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  114. Jim from Denver, CO

    Something will pass. If the goal is to drive down costs, then in my opinion it needs to include a public, not for profit, insurance plan. Insurance companies take 20% of the revenue for profits so cutting them out would cut our bills by 20%. They contribute nothing to the advancement of health in this country and I don't see why we are worried about what happens to them.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  115. Jeff Lloyd

    Jack, as an independant during this debate and viewing these editorials I find it humorous to see that one of the biggest money savers in health care would be Tort reform and yet no one talks of it. It is easier to blame the other party for the failure of the bills than it is to go after the lawyers who work the system to come out with huge profits. When a single lawsuit can amount to tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars that insurance and drug companies must pay, no wonder the prices are so high. Since the trial lawyers are big campaign doners, no wonder you dont hear anything. The published savings figures stated for Tort Reform are between $200-300 Billion. Unite and argue why congress refuses to address this issue. If something does pass (which it probably will), it probably wont include this and we will then be looking at these lawyer being paid off by our tax dollars instead of by the insurance companies.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  116. I cant wait till 2010

    If the plan as it stands is so great, then why are federal employees (including Congress) exempt? Perhaps its time that the supermajority finally pass the bill as is and accept full responsibility, or actually try to compromise. I mean isnt the GOP dead anyway?

    September 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  117. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Zero, Jack. It won't happen. They're going to prolong this as long as possible to get as much bribe money from the Death industries and to distract Murikans from finding out what's really happening, i.e. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Isreal telling us lies so we attack Iran, giving more money to filthy rich bankers, etc.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  118. Ron Lambert


    there Absolutely needs to be reform passed. Theres no way a bottle of aspirin at the ER should cost over $5 and yet there are thousands of examples of GROSS overcharging. YES reform must pass. And with the savings I would love a single payer option. the insurance companies cannot regulate themselves nor can the republicans. Without reform this country is going to be in serious trouble.

    Then we can focus on education reform next.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  119. Joe Caraway (Albany, NY)

    Jack, the time for bipartisnship is over. The president needs to rally Democrats and jam thru the most far reaching comprehensive health care bill they can get, publid option included. And if the "Blue Dog" democrats aren't going to get on board, he needs to expose them for the Benedict Arnolds to their party that they are. I wish they would realize that not only are they hurting the American people with their obstructionist ways, but they're also hurting their own chances at re-election. I can't believe they're siding w/ the party of no!!!!

    September 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  120. Lee Bickett

    The Democrats will pass something, just to save face. What people want is irrelevant. Here's a compromise. How about a tax credit for some percentage of the premiums we pay for insurance. The catch is that only those policies that meet certain criterea will qualify for the credit. That is where the stipulations such as pre-existing condition coverage, prescription coverage, and even plan costs can be dictated. People will flock to those companies that meet the criterea, and the rest of the companies will have no choice but to follow. Tie the amount of credit to income levels. The less you make, the bigger the credit. Expand the coverage of medicaid to include working people who just don't make enough to afford anything.
    – Lee, Etna, California

    September 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  121. Katie

    For all of the comments blaming Republicans:

    Poor democrats. They've got their dream president and they've got super majority in the congress...yet they are still unable to accomplish anything! Oh–both the president and congress have been able to accomplish one thing: blaming Republicans for their trouble.

    Quit the blame game and actually do something! Oh wait, they can't because not even all of the dems are in agreement with each other.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  122. JWC in Atlanta

    One hundred percent chance they will pass something. Zero percent it will reform health care costs.

    September 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  123. Ron in Tupelo

    100 %. The only question is how much President Obama will have to give up to get it passed. Obama has invested too much political capital in healthcare to end up with nothing to show for it. Something will pass, what that is, is still to be determined.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  124. eolufemi

    President Obama let them have their say, while he was on vacation. Now he's back and they better run for cover. Everybody is going to tune in for that speech and by the time he's done, the American people will see who's really in charge. I don't expect him to get everything he wants, but there will be the first phase of health care reform this year. Believe it.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  125. Matt in Minneapolis


    Something will get done. The question is whether it will be anywhere near what Obama promised when he ran, and whether that bill will acomplish the stated goal of increasing coverage AND reducing costs. He's got about as much of chance of getting what he promised as I do of landing a smart supermodel.

    Minneapolis, MN

    September 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  126. Felicity Cantrella -NYC

    Why bother? When we can finally get the republicans back into majority, they will be required to kill everything the dems are trying to do now and restore individual responsibility and freedoms to our country.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  127. Missy M, Phoenix

    I wish they would pass some sort of health care reform, but do so without mandating that people purchase health insurance. There are so many people in this country who do not purchase health insurance because they refrain from visiting doctors for religious regions, or simply for economic reasons - many people just prefer home births over hospital births, they seek out alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal remedies and holistic treatments. Why would we mandate these folks to buy insurance that they probably don't want or need? It seems to be infringing on their rights. Lawmakers need to return back to the drawing board on this one and come up with a reform bill that respects ALL Americans.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  128. Bill

    Maybe 40 million cases of uninsured swineflu might slap some sense int our elected officials

    September 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  129. Will from San Jose, CA

    Any reform that doesn't include a public option isn't reform it's a shell game by the insurance companies looking to protect their massive profits. What's even worse is that such a bill would set back any real reform because the politicians can all claim they've already fixed the problem.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  130. Michael in Albuquerque,NM

    Yes, we can pass health insurance reform. We can stop the insurance companies from denying treatment. We can stop them from refusing customers. We can stop them from over charging. We can stop them from putting a cap on the cost of treatments. If it isn't passed, the political life of those that voted against it will be over. People will not flock back to the republicans that obstructed healthcare reform. It will be all over for those in Washington now.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  131. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I am praying, Jack, that Congress will do the right and moral thing and pass healthcare for ALL Americans! Far too many people have to file bankruptcy due to the high costs of healthcare.

    Read recently, that 99% of Americans are one healthcare disaster from going bankrupt and losing everything they have worked so hard for! That's terrible.

    Sadly, just like the in 50's and 60's with Medicaid and Medicare, the GOP has been doing all the ........ fear mongering and lying it can get away with?

    My question is, how can anyone who is Christian, deny their neighbor healthcare?

    Yesterday, I read that the Council of Catholic Bishops supports healthcare reform! Why is this not news?

    September 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  132. Chris

    It is funny how democrats call republicans sore losers and other assorted names because republicans finally stand on principle. Of course when democrats opposed President Bush they were patriots. The hipocrisy is astounding! Same way with the town hall meetings. Democrats invented the picketing and protesting strategy, but when it is used against them, the poor babies whine to their hearts content. President Obama has found, it is much harder to govern, than campaign.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  133. Rory Murray

    Welcome back!
    I live in California. A snowballs chance ,unless we eliminate those that are here ILLEGALLY!
    Rory M.
    San Bernardino, CA

    September 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  134. Joey from Ellenton, Fla

    Gosh i hope so, Jack. But Americans are so afraid of words, and politicians are so afraid of people. Here's a quote from another Jack, Jack London: "[this word] stands for the actual application of in the affairs of men of the theory of the Brotherhood of Man." The word he was referring to is "Socialism". America needs a little judicious socialism right now... without the word making us all fearful and stupid.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  135. Rob

    Not gonna happen Jack. To me it's for the best as it would just end up being another watered down piece of junk being jammed through so the stuffed shirts that "worked" on it -wink-wink-can feel good about themselves and say they accomplished something. Obviously what's on the table now is Junk ...you don't see these self centered politicians being made to have it.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  136. Kooky in CA

    They have to. Forget what it does or doesn't add to the national debt today. These health care execs are filling their pockets like AIG and Wall Street did and in a few years when they run it into the ground and dump it back on us, bailing out health care will make TARP look like pocket change. Pay a little, in comparison, now or a lot later.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  137. David in Raleigh, NC

    Seeing that 80% of people with health insurance are happy with their health insurance, why is the government trying to turn the country upside down to satisfy the 20% who are unhappy while making the 80% unhappy in the process.

    Our government needs to focus on serious things like reducing the debt, reducing government spending, and reducing taxes.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  138. Barbara in NC

    The republicans want taxpayers to subsidize insurance companies.

    That's probably what the lies and fear-mongering were all about during August.

    We have the best government Insurance Companies can buy.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  139. Eric

    The odds are passing this now are "zero " because when the August recess ends next week, we enter the 2010 midterm election season.

    ...and if there's one thing liberals love more than big-government giveaways, it's getting re-elected.

    Anyone not living under a rock this summer can tell you this legislation is a political career-ender.

    Any Congressman who votes for Big-Gov-Care, should start packing his bags now... because 2010 is going to be an electoral bloodbath for the looters and moochers.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  140. Linda in Arizona

    Hahahaha, good for Levi Johnston. We love you, Levi!!

    Re your question: I have no idea. Obama has blown health care, or "insurance reform" so badly, I have trouble believing it wasn't deliberate. First, he let Congress invent the bill, which they haven't even finished. Then, instead of using his bully pulpit of the Oval Office and big speeches to Congress, he went for idiotic "town hall meetings", telegraphing his plans well in advance, which gave the repukes plenty of time to plan their disruptions. Then, he set about giving the pharmaceutical and insurance industries everything they wanted, while getting nothing in return. From the beginning, single payer was off the table, and now, even the public option is about to be eliminated from consideration. That is literally throwing the liberal wing of the pathetic Democratic Party under the bus. Obama's people are supposed to be so shrewd. I think they're retarded. It's way too late now to be giving a big speech to Congress. He should have done it months ago. Everyone is set in stone now. This speech won't change anything, but it will make him look desperate, which I imagine he is by now. What a total mess he has made of it. I hope they pass nothing.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  141. Elisa from California

    Something will pass. We need healthcare reform desperately but the public option is not a fair option. Unfortunately, the Liberals and the Neo-Cons are not interested in hashing out a plan that is good for America. Rather, they are interested in passing a plan (or nothing at all) that benefits their agenda. Oh, and where is tort reform?! Nonexistent. Why? Because we are governed by lawyers and lawyers don't eat their own.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  142. Chevy Johnson from Milwaukee, WI


    I don't think that any one person can tell you if whether or not Congress will pass Health Care Reform legislation after this recess. But what I can tell you is that when it comes down to it, this is change we need. There is no reason why the people that represent us in Washington cannot sit downand hammer out a bill that lowers insurance preimums and other costs for Americans with insurance and gives those who cannot otherwise afford it a chance to have something so important.

    My message to Congress is this: No matter what side of the aisle that you happen to be on, you work for us–your constituents. Not for pharmaceuticals, not for banks, not for special interests, but for the American people.

    True enough not everyone will agree with everything when it concerns an issue as tantamount as Health Care Reform but I think that everyone in the marble halls of the U.S. Capitol can agree that Health Care is something that everyone needs. Don't block legislation, if you don't agree with something, work to amend it. We sent you all to Washington to work for us and our interest, not to bicker and not talk to each other because you don't like what someone else said. It's not like you're teaching elementary recess 101.

    Next Tuesday, your assignment is to listen to the President and work together to make health care affordible for each American.

    Let's get to work.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  143. David in Raleigh, NC

    Most people are missing the point on health care reform.

    It's not about reforming health care, it's about destroying the health insurance industry and giving our Socialist President Obama and the liberal Democrats control of our health care.

    Obama's health care is the first step down the road to single payer healthcare.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  144. Glenn

    Slim I would say. While I fully understand the reason Obama gave this task to Congress, they have wholly and completely screwed this up. When President Obama decides that it is time for him to regain control of this issue I will be all ears, pun intended. Until then Congress is just moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic, as usual.

    Haymarket, VA

    September 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  145. EW

    Republicans poor losers? why does the media and the liberals keep trying to blame those "mean ole Republians" for this so called universal health care not going through? Come on it's the democrats that have so much power so why don't they just pass what ever they want. That's what they will do anyway.
    Never before in the history of this country has one party had so much power in both houses and the White house too................ until November of 2010.
    So I say Hail to the Chief or better yet Hail "CAESAR!, Hail CAESAR!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  146. RJ from Lake,MI

    Its simple Jack, if you dont have insurance your for this scam, if you have insurance your against this scam, the tax payers should have ultimate say in this not the non payers!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  147. Harry

    there is no other option!
    This was the promise in the past election !
    That’s what we and the majority of the country voted for.

    If Cost are an Issue in the Health care debate ,then I ask you, why not get wild and have a Personal Crime protection insurance and eliminate paying the FBI, Homeland Security. This could be just as profitable be handled by a private funded insurance like health insurance.

    If People should die because they have no Healthcare – so why Project them if they have protection in case of crime? If they can not effort Protection Insurance. This parallel should only demonstrate the immoral in this discussion where basic needs compared to profit and loss.

    Both are moral Oblations. If democrat politicians now back off the healthcare reform then they are not worth to be representatives of there people.

    They should just open up and show who financed them and what they are afraid of? We the people can not pay for them its the health and other corporations and donors that employ them.

    Don't hide behind morality – say out loud what is is really about.

    And if people take it as it is then do they deserve better?


    September 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  148. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)

    I suspect the Dems will pass a small measure to
    demonstrate thier resolve.

    This is a quagmire and I do not see any realistic
    way THIS congress can solve this perceived problem.

    No meaningful or worthwhile legislation from these guys & gals.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  149. Becker, Texas

    If the Obama administration continues to be tone deaf to the American public this will be passed. If it is passed I agree with Lamar Alexander that there will be a major blood letting at the next election. I have the lowest view of our policiticians ever at this point.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  150. Alex in Seattle

    100% chance, Jack, but it won't be everything President Obama wants. There will be half a loaf of reform that they can put the late senator Kennedy's name on. But even Senator Kennedy knew the need to compromise in order to make progress. Maybe the next Democratic president will try again.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  151. Mark (Newburgh, NY)

    Jack, anything short of a single payer system will be a waste of time. That said, the health care reform effort will fail, because the Republicans are strongly invested in making sure it fails, and the Democrats lack both the unity and the backbone to make sure it gets done. It's a shame, because it will probably kill the effort for yet another generation.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  152. Lleonard

    Yes they will. I wish they all would just work together and stop turning Politics in to gang warfare. The GOP need to learn to work better with other and stop beiong stubborn sore losers. The Dems need to get a back bone and act like they got voted in office to do a job. Do not let the GOP punk you.

    If you let them force you to take the Option Pan out you get voted out.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  153. Sheila

    I am really afraid that this is going to fall through as it did when Hilly Clinton was working on it in the 90s. Wouldn't it be nice if all Americans had as good health care as Congress has? We pay for their health insurance, but they can't reciprocate and think about us, the citizens who put them in office.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  154. Farhan Ali

    Congress has the capabilities to get it done, but only if many are willing to compromise the special interests they represent. If lobbyists and special interests aren't allowed to interfere into the Democratic Process, there may yet be hope. Their debates in the halls of Congress should be as hot as it is here in California.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  155. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Jack...I think the odds of being abducted by a UFO are more in my favor then any true reform being passed. Regretfully, any true reform will have to include a public option because insurance companies are the black hole where healthcare dollars are wasted. If that particular greedy wheel is not fixed...everything else that gets passed by Congress will be anything but actual meaninful reform.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    September 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  156. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    I think it is at best, an uphill battle, and I personally don't think the Obama plan is going to meet the desires of the public at large, so it is unlikely to pass through congress as proposed.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  157. mags

    I think we all have a better chance of seeing God than we do of ever seeing health care reform

    September 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  158. Brian

    Slim to none. The most important thing to politicians is career preservation. None of them will step up and do something bold that, although right for the country (and what we elected them to do), may risk their getting voted out of office.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  159. RJ from Lake,MI

    Unfortunately Obama has done nothing to bring jobs back, all he has done is hire a thousands of illegals to work on our highways and infrastructure! Until jobs return there will still be an erosion of the tax base and more people with their hands out looking for something free. Whatever happened to being poor in this country. Now we have to provide the poor with cell phones, cable tv, satillite tv, $4500 for a car they still cant afford, when is enough taking of my tax dollar enough, will I ever see this repaid? I`m betting not!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  160. Chris - Denver

    Nope, the Repubs will kill it and then control the spin to make it look like they did us some great service, and then they will clean up in the mid-term elections and everybody will declare an end to the Democratic party and whole political game will continue. Meanwhile, the middle class loses out and the corporate elites gain more power and wealth. That's my dire prediction.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  161. Chris in Denver

    I'm a Democrat and I always vote a straight Dem. ticket. I have been voting Democrat for 20yrs.

    The Dems we elected in November need to grow a backbone. So far all they've done is make me want to vote 3rd party next time.

    We're not going to get anywhere with these idiots in control. All we're going to get; is our butts handed to us in 2010 elections when the Republicans make huge gains and bring back the 50/50 split. Then we go back to where we were in the past....... deadlocked.

    This is one Democrat who is PISSED OFF.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  162. Todd

    YES – congress will pass some sort of health care. They are frothing at the mouth thinking about sinking their claws into the health care industry.

    There is no way they are going to let this opportunity slip by. If they cannot get everything they want this time around, they will pass what they can and sneak the rest in later.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  163. Keegan

    The chances are good there will be a reform in our healthcare system. Most likely they will follow through with the current reform instead of starting from scratch. President Obama may give a speech, and this will only further sedate any undecided voices. Americans will favor the government taking care of them, instead of Americans taking care of the government. This is simply another step in the wrong direction, and there will be plenty of time for something else in the media to turn our attention away from key issues. We're turning our backs on what has made this country great, and giving away control of our future.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  164. Rudy Haugeneder

    They all have Congressional health insurance and don't understand what it is like not to have it. There's no personal fear on their part, thus making it less important than it should be. Thus there's no sense of urgency and congress will still be talking about health reform at this time next year and the year after. Too bad.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  165. Peter

    The Dems are still drunk from success and haven't sobered up enough to realize that the party of "no" is not going to let anytyhing pass. The Dems will have to sober up, stick togather and pass a healthcare bill. As far as the public option, we already have it. Those who can't pay for health care don't and the "Public" has to make it up.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  166. Marc in Dallas Texas

    Jack, One thing I learned throughout the campaign is that underestimating President Obama is a serious mistake. I believe he will achieve what he promised he would do. I have two comments regarding Senator Alexander's comments. First if "going it alone", funny choice of words from a Republican, would wreck the Democratic party wouldn't that be a good thing for his party? Second, I wonder why people are scared of reform? Must be because somebody in government is spinning the truth...hmmmm wonder who that could be? Thanks!-Marc

    September 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  167. Susan

    I think the chances of passing Health Insurance Reform is excellent. The chances of passing Health Care Reform are zero.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  168. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    as far as I can see, when you say it is going to get hot again...that time is over...it is time for cooler heads to prevail!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  169. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    To paraphrase a saying I learned long ago: The odds of Congress passing health care reform are Slim and none and Slim's out of town. Where's Tip O'niel now that we really need him?

    September 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  170. IndyVoter

    They had BETTER pass it or its the boot at Midterm or whenever they are schedule to come up for reelection!!!...I dont' care how long they have been in, if the don't vote for health care reform I am voting them OUT. Period!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  171. RJ from Lake,MI

    No Harry, the majority did not vote for free health care, the independents voted for change, a promise Obama made to the MIDDLE CLASS not the liberals! Obama has renigged on his promise to help out the middle class, you know the ones who built this country and is where all this free money comes from! Get your facts straight Harry!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  172. Olu

    Hey Jack, this is not going to pass! Why? Because these guys are happy with their own healthcare program and they’ll rather have nothing done than try to work out the best way for Americans. It’s clearly obvious that this is another political game in display, forget approval rating, let both parties work something out if they care at all!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  173. Karen in Michigan

    Yes I think they will pass it, hopefully with a public option. I would never deny anyone the option of keeping their private insurance plan, why do so many want to deny my daughter, who isn't provided health insurance by her employer, access to affordable health care which is what the public option would provide. It seems the height of greed and selfishness to me.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  174. William Courtland

    What are the chances the Health care reform passed will be detramental to the Union?

    A public option should include religious compassionate services: for life, instruction for health, provision of mental stability, allowance for criminal grief and guilt, consideration for those foun put out of domicile or work...

    Congress should be more concerned with the health of the economy and the nation: to afford insurance: people need to be a work... Once every person is back at work: the need for a public option goes out the window...

    Congresses top concern should be the state of the Union: as it reflects upon the state of government: as government itself is ill: bi-polar in party reflection... Government representative growth... somehow it got from 65 to 485... someone once understood the need for such growth... without healing the Constitution: without following the instruction to a just nature for an advance civilization and more perfect union: a union dependant upon the welfare of the people... Democracy must come first. Independant democracy: the parties just want glory in action: and do not want to deal with the real: long haul: multiple term works that are required of it. Standards are flawed and deficiant.

    Fix apportionment to over 10 000 district: actually use the census for its purpose isntead of just polling data for future party corruption.

    A sick doctor will only infect his patients. The life of the rescuer must come first. One can not enforce freedom...

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  175. Suzanne Meredith

    No one will listen, but if all government employees and politicians had to have the same insurance coverage as the rest of us there would be good legislation passed quickly – why should a public servant – who supposedly works for ME – get medical coverage at my expense – coverage I could never afford?

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  176. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - Unfortunately, it appears that Congress will pass a semblance of health care reform, meaning a severely watered-down version that will not include the Public Option - President Obama needs to take a stand and make it perfectly clear to the members of Congress that there will be no real health care reform without the Public Option - if health care reform goes down in flames because of this clear, firm statement, so be it
    - it's time to push forward, not pull back!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  177. cam

    If Obama caves to the right he may get something passed but it will be meaninless to most Americans.If he fights for a public option his chances wll be less of getting a bill but it would doom the GOP the next election being the party that killed health care reform.
    About time Obama grew a set and fought for something.This Rodney King routine got old long ago.
    What is baffling is why Obama is governing to please the right when he was elected on a platform of liberal proposals.
    Politicians!What a bunch.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  178. Tom in Los Angeles

    My voter registration card says I am a Republican; that means less to me every year.

    Every day of my life, I am an American. That means a great deal to me.

    While there are parts of the proposals that I do agree with, and parts that I have some doubts about, the status quo is clearly not sustainable. Something needs to change, and quickly. I don't expect it to be perfect; I do expect it to be done.

    If I am not mistaken, Congress still meets several times each year. We need to get something on the books; it can be amended as required by future Congressional decisions. Since most of the current House bill consists of changes to existing laws, I think my point is a good one.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  179. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – All it takes is a majority in the House and 60 votes in the Senate. Bipartisanship is of no value of itself. Meanwhile, for specific technical reasons, reform without a public option cannot change anything the public actually wants changed – portability, exclusionary practices by insurers, or the current emphais on expensive ad hoc illness treatment over preventive health care. Congress has no direct jurisdiction over these issues and cannot compel private insurers to change. Any such law would be struck down by the Supreme Court. However, Congress can, Constitutionally, create an open, voluntary public option, with all these features, thus indirectly forcing private insurers to offer the same in order to compete and stay in business. This is not a matter of public opinion – it is a matter of business managment. Without the public option it will not be reform!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  180. Birddog in Mississippi

    Bluedog democrats need to stop trying to compromise with republicans. Trying to compromise with republicans is like trying to compromise with a rock - same amount of brains and ability to bend. I want the choice as to whether to buy my insurance from a public option or an insurance company. I don't see why I should be denied that choice. If you all want to keep buying overpriced insurance so that the fat cat insurance execs can make a hundred thousand dollars an hour on your dime, then be my guest. But I want my money going to health care not insurance company profits.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Pastor Franklyn

    Yes, President Obama will not fail America.
    However, until we reform our government to not accept the billions of lobbying dollars from these "special interest", we will always have gridlock. We have not had a government for the people for a very long time.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  182. james heinis

    We must come to the conclusion that we are the world's most advanced third world nation. Our fear of "socialism" and "big government" will ensure that the status quo remains. Unfortunately, Fox news and "conservative" commentators such as Rush Limbaugh reflect the views of many Americans. The USA's strength is in its military and agriculture. Our eternal search for the almighty dollar and reducing cost though outsourcing will ensure that this slide will continue. Sadly, this is the fate that we have chosen.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  183. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Hello Jack,
    If the Democrats don't pass Health Insurance Reform, they can count on being retired, by vote, in the next election.
    As long as Republicans get away with all the lies, innuendo, and scare tactics nothing good will happen. They have got to be exposed for what they are....liars, cheats, and on the payroll of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries that they are schilling for.
    Democrats have got to show they have a spine and stop all this wimpy behavior when the Republicans speak

    September 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  184. Mike in Mississippi

    With the apparent polar opposite views between the House and the Senate regarding the so-called public option, I would say "slim to none". But, we already have government health care. It's called Medicare and Medicaid. I'm on Medicare and hope they don't screw with it. But, I don't see why there can't be enhancements to the government health care that's already in place and add those American citizens that are unemployed, through no fault of their own, or unable to afford health care, or some other additional criteria. And if the private health care companies want a huge profit, regulate them with Medicare tax. Seems simple to me.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  185. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack, I am one of those who is optimistic that we will pass healthcare reform–this racket in August was not new–just the same old dirty tricks they have always used to sabotage reform–difference is, the American people have caught on and the tide is turning back–we are the only developed country in the world that allows their health insurance companies to make a "profit"–and that must come to an end!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  186. Cora - Hot Springs Ark

    Since the president is going to take it over i think the chances is good, I just hope he sticks to his guns, and don't let the republicans punk him out on what the american people put him in office for.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  187. Helen Canada

    Hi Jack:

    It will pass with miner changes,without the Republican's vote.
    Mark my word,I am a chycic.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  188. Paul


    "A" bill will get passed, but the question is will it be health care reform in name only? Right wing lobbyists and Republicans have made fools of themselves by promoting "death panels," "forced abortion," and a "government takeover" of health care.
    If Obama surrenders the public option then I will abandon my support for his lack of resolve and leadership against the these lies.

    Paul, 29
    Irvine, CA

    September 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  189. educatedRon


    Once the blue dog democrats are exposed for their conflicts of interest in recieving high donations they will have to vote for it.

    This will cause a republican uproar in that they don't necessarily care about health care either way, but it will mean that Obama can pass anything he wants.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  190. Joan

    It will pass Jack if the people in Washington get some back bone and if they will start thinking about the poor and the needy rather than the big insurance companies. I saw Winston Churchill – he had back bone when the Germans were on our doorstep during the Battle of Britain. Let's see if those in Washington can measure up. Up to now I don't think so – but then maybe they are comfortable seeing needy families without health care. Shame on all of them if this bill does not pass. I don't know how they will be able to sleep at night. Those that are instrumental in NOT passing the bill they will NOT be reelected.


    September 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  191. James Allen

    Congressional Democrats WILL pass major healthcare reform this year. In doing so, they will demonstrate that the American people are more important than insurance company profits. And Republicans will learn that their appeal to fear, ignorance and racism is repudiated as a political strategy.

    James Allen
    Euless, TX

    September 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  192. Kim B.

    I'm not sure if Congress will pass a bill that provides real reform...a public option. I cannot understand what so many americans are fearful of. This talk about government coming in between you and your doctor is ridiculous....especially with insurance companies telling you which doctors you can and cannot go to, what procedures they will and will not cover and rates and premiums can increase without notice. I can't forget to mention that those with pre-existing conditions aren't even given a chance! The people who are sick are the ones that need care! I'm really confused as to how people could possibly think it can get worse with a public option. I suggest everyone in favor of the public option to tell your reps so this can finally end!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  193. RJ from Lake,MI

    Instead of free giveaways how about drug and insurance reform? This is what needs to be addressed! Poor people cant afford to buy their own insurance because of the insurance companies domination of the health care system, not because the middle class tax payer isnt paying their fair share! Lets not fix the circle wheel with a square spare!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  194. Andrew in Pomona California

    it they do it will just prove that they once again are dodging the two real problem:
    1, illegal aliens sucking the system dry and,
    2, Frivolous lawsuits by greedy lawyers that drive the cost of health care through the roof.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  195. Birddog in Mississippi

    Obama should be like Sanford & just say that God wants a public option in the bill and he's going to do what God wants. Thing is, God would want a public option, that's what that whole thing about "What you do for the least of these..." is about. I doubt God really gives a rat's tail whether Sanford stays in office.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  196. Josh (CA)

    There is a 5% chance Congress will pass health care reform. It seems that every day on the news you hear about Obama retreating from his hard-line stance on the issue to him backing off. With Obama on the retreat, how is it that Congress will follow suit. The 5% I gave Congress is me merely being generous.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  197. Michael Allette

    Chances are slim for real reform. The goverment option is the hang up. Why not create a health cost curve that won't break the budget, freeze costs at 2007 levels and then require a 10% reduction in costs per year until we meet the curve.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  198. Steven

    I am sure congress will pass something but it won't be anything close to reform. I believe that what will be passed is, at this moment, being written by lobbyists representing the insurance and drug companies. I ask you, when has a bill that could have a financial impact on large corporate entities not ended up being written by their K street lackies so as to enrich the already super wealthy. These corporations are aligned with the the far right wing and together they own our government, despite election results that clearly show the majority of Americans want reform and a public option, congress will only pass that which is in the best interests of corporations.
    Steve, Taos, N.M.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  199. Carol - Chattanooga Tennessee

    Being from Tennessee, I can tell you that nothing Lamar Alexander says should be given any consideration. This is a Senator who has done nothing for his state except occupy a seat in the Senate and stand behind the Minority Leader of the Senate when he is on TV. He doesn't answer emails, respond to phone calls or vote for anything not first approved by the Republican Party.

    He and the rest of the Republican Party see the demise of a Health Care Reform bill as their ticket to reclaiming the White House and the majority in both houses of Congress by 2012. If for no other reason than hanging on to its majority status, the Democratic Party will come together and pass a Health Reform Bill. In doing so, they will actually do the right thing, even if it is for the wrong reasons.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  200. John from Newark, Ohio

    Jack, it looks like a rocky road for passage of meaningful health care reform. But this is largely because so much attention is being paid to what isn't being proposed rather than what is. President Obama and the Democrats need to bring the focus the voters and representatives back ti reality. This will be difficult because the opposition will say and do anything to keep a rational discussion from happening. But I still believe, and certainly hope, that reform can happen this year; after all, this is essential for the good of the country and the vast majority of its citizens.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  201. Jack - VanBuren, IN

    The Washington Way is to phase it in. They'll pass something, but it won't amount to much until hell freezes over – or longer.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  202. Doyle Bowers Tulsa,

    I really love the way the Right Wing is talking out both sides of their mouth. Michael Steele was all over the Sunday Morning talk shows last week telling Obama and the Democrats to "Pass Health Care Reform" without the Republicans. They have to votes they don't need the rights help. But Now the water boys in the senate are all whining Obama needs to slow down and include us in the process. So what's it going to be Repubs? Are you going to get with the program and work with the president or are you going to continue to obstruct, whine and not get anything done but playing political games? I suspect the latter.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  203. RJ from Lake,MI

    Why dont Americans quit whining and suck it up! Health care has never been a right of anyone! What did people due throughout time before health insurance???, they paid their own way, no free giveaways! The liberals are quick to say what is everyone afraid of, its not going to cost you anything more......thats all bullcrap and we know it! The middle clas tax payer will pay for this never ending free givaway! If you are one of those liberals thats so much for the public option, thats only because you`ll be on it and I`ll pick up your tab!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  204. luva pendarvis

    A lot of my friends have already bought in the scare tactics . You cannot convience them there is no bill yet. Republicans have done
    a real number of the country and will not do what is best for the people because they want to sink the President at all costs. Shame on them! But with the inuts we have in congress on both sides ,we will not get anything done this year.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  205. Diane, Marshfield MO

    Without health care reform, including the public option, those of us who are uninsured and are apparently considered part of :"the great unwashed" by many will get what we have now. Bupkis. That's what I call the eat "dirt" and die option. Which apparently those who oppose health care reform and in particular the public option appear to be saying to us. But from the way things that appear to be going, what we'll get is bupkis. People die every day because of lack of health care access. And this is supposed to be a civilized country.


    September 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  206. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, I told you 2 months ago when you asked a similar question that the Obama administration WILL force health care reform down the throats of the voters. The only real question is how much is it going to add to the already out of control deficit spending this president has been/is pushing through. Obama and the Democrats will use D.C. money smoke & mirrors, lie, cheat , and steal to get something through regardless of the REAL costs, and our children/ grandchildren will pay for this foolishness just like they are responsible for the $9T we already owe for Obama's spending spree.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  207. C.K. of Colorado

    Chances? I say, nil to zero!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  208. Joe MN

    I am confident it will get passed. The past month of shoutdowns and town hollers didn't nothing to raise the debate. It just showed how uninformed people are on this debate and the hyprocrisy of the GOP. The best example of this double standard, Rep. Roy Blunt, (R-Mo.) who compared government-run health care to an elephant, stomping on and killing off the mice of the private insurance industry.

    Blunt has had two procedures done at Bethesda Naval Hospital. The first came in July 2002, when he underwent surgery to remove his left kidney. The second came a year later, when he underwent prostate surgery after being diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. Last I checked they were government run facility.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  209. STAN - IL.

    Yes, I think they should do the same thing that the Republicans did when Bush was in office for six years. They had secret meetings and passed everything, no matter what the Democrats thought. They were in power and let everyone know it.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  210. Richard in Colorado

    To me, it is very important that health is available for all Americans. It needs to include a public option. I am a retired senior citizen who thinks medicare is great. I am disgusted with the senior citizens who are so afraid of losing some of their benefits in able to make health care available to those who have none. WAKE UP AMERICANS AND START THINKING ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHIILDREN WHO HAVE NOTHING AND STOP BEING SO SELFISH.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  211. clay jacoby

    Jack- I think it will pass–probably will be close t ho–Yes, Obama didn't realize or got bad advice the power of the $Billions the healthcare lobby would spend to defeat healthcare for all americans.
    When there is no real competition–United Health Care Ceo makes $1.2Billion a year; I doubt the opposition will go away or giveup easily.
    The drug industry makes so much money guaranteed 18% of net sales every year–hospitals make a lot too.
    Those folks do not want to give up the 'gravy train' at our expense.
    It is an embarassment that our country doesn't cover all citizens.We spend Billions $ on stupid wars- trips to Mars and other boondogles.
    We must be a laughable country to the rest of the world.Clay Jacoby

    September 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  212. Elizabeth, Clarksville, TN

    Health care reform is beginning to sound like a broken record. We keep hearing it play and hope that lawmakers will come up with some affordable health care for all Americans. The thing that has been overlooked is that rich Americans or Americans still at jobs with health care are covered. The very poor are covered through Medicaid. The group that is working hard for low wages without health care at their employment are the people who need help. It seems like the rich Republicans could find it in their heart to have some compassion for this group of people and pass a government option that they can afford. Shame on the rich who still place themselves ahead of the good for all.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  213. Terry from Illinois

    The odds of Healthcare reform are about the same as the odds of the Republican Party helping working Americans instead of helping only the greedy rich and corporate Americans...
    Republicans had total control for 6 of the past 8 years while Bush was President and they passed no laws and did NOTHING to stop healthcare costs from rising so the greedy rich and corporate America insurance companies made big bucks on the backs of working Americans... give Democrats credit ...
    I say the hell with the greedy rich private insurance companies and give America its own healthcare for all U.S. citizens !!!
    American taxpayers are paying for 2 wars that helped Halliburton and oil companies get even richer, taxpayers can damn well pay for healthcare that improves American lives and helps workers to compete with foreign workers who have their government healthcare... Medicare for every U.S. citizen...

    September 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  214. Henry W. Evingham of Bath, New York

    I think that any effort to push new or pass current legislation by Congress will fail, and let me tell you why. Though I myself am of the belief that it is appaling that between 47 and 50 million people are without access to some form of health insurance, How much is too much? Our Congresmen talk about relating to the "working class" citizens, yet they authorize spending billions of dollars on things that may or may not help the country, and push us further into debt! if the numbers are right, and we will be billions of dollars further into debt, by 2020, then maybe we should wait to push this until the country is less in debt (if such a thing is possible!) Health care reform is very commendable, but at this point, i can't see this bill making it out of Congress, especially without some kind of Bipartisan support. It's a great idea, but it's doomed to failure at this time

    September 2, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  215. angel

    They won't be able and it will be thanks to the ultra-liberal left. They continue to demand an absolutly public option and such option will become the kiss of death to the Health Reform revolution, or too much for the word CHANGE-should I say?

    September 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  216. RJ from Lake,MI

    I say to all you liberals whats good for you is good for the 5 to 6 BILLION other people in the world with no access to health care, are you going to open your pockets up and dish out for all of them? I bet not so why should the tax payers help you out? The whole premise of our country is to work hard and go without if you have to to buy things like health insurance. Everyone of these whining liberals who want the public option I bet owns several cell phone, has cable tv, has diamond in their jewelery box, kids wear Nkie shoes, has their nails done once a week! Enough is enough, if you people arent willing to go without then dont ask me to pick up your medical bill!

    September 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  217. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The U.S.pays over 14% of our G.D.P.for health care,were the most any country in Europe pays is 8% . Our infant mortality rate is that of a 3rd world country, and our life expectancy is lower than any industrialize . but we have our guns , and our gods

    September 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  218. Judi in Salem Wisconsin

    I voted for Barack Obama because he has been decribed many times as a compromiser.

    Thank you House, and Thank you Senate for your input.

    On Wednesday, I want to hear President Obama tell us his proposal list, relating each item, and why he chose the features of each item.

    Then I'd like a broad rundown of how each item will EVENTUALLY pay for itself.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  219. Joe in VA

    I believe there is a decent chance for passage of a bill if Obama backs off the public option for now and takes what he can get, such as major insurance reform. By doing so, both siades can claim a win and time will tell if another push for the public optin is needed. The " ram it through" strategy will be suicide for the Democrats. Our local representative ( a newly elected Democrat) will be assure of being a one term office holder. Both of our senators are middle of the road Democrats and I don't think either will be brow beat into voting for a bill with the public option. AT least that whet they currently say. Washington is very short of statesmen right now, on either side, so a pragmatic approach has the best chance of prevailing.

    Chatham, VA

    September 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  220. Joani - Shenandoah IA

    The Republicans are obviously not interested in doing the "right thing" and actively working on reforming healthcare. I am with Obama, and say we move on without them. The Republicans have made it clear they want to be obstructionists on this issue and are willing to lie, cheat and steal to prevent any forward momentum. I think the President should move on his campaign threat of suspending the Congresses and Senates healthcare benefits if they cannot come to terms on this issue.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  221. Jean McLain

    Congress must pass a Health Care plan. For a change Congress should think about the future of the American public. Change is very hard but that is what leadership is all about. Jean Shanahan

    September 2, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  222. Tyler

    Jack, we voted for Obama based in part on his platform to reform healthcare. It is time for him to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy and get it done, exposing the Republicans for the liars and fearmongers they are in the process. The Blue Dogs had better get in line too, or they should be voted out, replaced by Republicans who will vote the same as they do anyway. My opinion is to ignore the calls for bipartisanship and do what is best for this country! Health care reform now! Sadly, unless Obama gets mad enough to push it through, it just won't happen, at least not to any degree worth the time and trouble all of this has taken.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  223. Jill-IN

    This is not about the people who have health insurance – it is about people who have no access to health care because they do not have health insurance or any vehicle (law or regulation ) to purchase it. Just try to get a health plan if you are not employed or in some association or group that has some purpose beyond providing health care. Is there an association for unemployed persons? Maybe that is the answer – form an association that serves some purpose, and then also offer a good group association health plan. Insurance companies write the state insurance laws and regulations tomake sure that people cannot get individual heath care; they build a steel case than most people cannot penetrate to get the insurance.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  224. jerbo49

    We need health care reform. We actually need single payer, but anything with a public option is Ok in my book. We just have to get er done.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  225. Barbara Huff

    If millions of Americans should become infected with swine flu, that will include millions who do not have health care – and may not have the money to go to the doctor until they have infected many others. The emergency rooms will be overflowing. Perhaps it will take a national disaster to bring to everyone's attention that health care for everyone is very important ; and equally important to those who DO already have health care.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  226. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Well Jack, if the Bill it anything like the bail-out, we are lost! Billions of dollars unaccounted for. Banks not responding to the pleas of people that the money was intended for. Record profits! You tell me can we really trust a government program! Cash for clunkers that was basically a cash hand over of my tax money with little return for U.S. manufactured cars. Now, the Speaker of the House is flying around in a $15 million dollar Gulf Stream. Yep! Washington can sure be trusted.
    ...I can just see the Health Care bill blow up like all of the of "Bills" to save us.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  227. Jill-IN

    I pray that something passes so that uninsured citizens can buy affordable health insurance. We support PRESIDENT Obama and pray for him in his work every day. I have never been more saddened at the hatred I read from some of these blogs from people who probably consider themselves children of God.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  228. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    if the Banks CEOs wont get the message then maybe they should be tax even more...

    September 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  229. Jeff from Allentown

    The administration is not talking about "changing" anything they are talking about "replacing" the current system. The healthcare system is very complex to meet the needs of diverse population. It is impossible for anyone to forsee the outcome of replacing it with a new system. So replacing it is a crap shoot. In my mind the best approach to changing it is to make small changes over a long time span. Remember the ancient proverb, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

    September 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  230. Chris, TX

    Our country needs to decide if we want to continue to spend half a million dollars per person in the last 3 yrs of life. If the answer is yes then we have to restructure how we pay for things, (massive wide spread new taxes). If the answer is no then we need to accept that there will be rationing based on a standardized criteria.
    The answer currently is yes; Americans want everything done, all the time, forever. This mind set will not change without a major shock to our system, like medicare defalting on payments and safety net hospitals closing, resulting in large numbers of people dying in the waiting rooms of emergency rooms.
    Everyone would be well served if they took better care of themselves. Stop eating so much, exercise, talk to other humans face to face and stay away from anything on a screen.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  231. dan

    The democrats have been placed in a sticky situation by the GOP who has clearly shown through the rediculouse releases on their website like the democrats will use health care reform to only cover democrats. Now the Dems have to either push through the Republican resistance and possibly scare the fickle independant voters or get bogged down in the mess the republican party is at least partly responsible for creating. Problem is if they choose the latter the repiblicans will say the dems were ineffective and didnt bring the "change" they promised. Good luck Obama for the record I'm rooting for ya.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  232. Fran of Huntington, NY

    It all depends on how President Obama, one of the greatest orators, presents his case next week to Congress. We all no the GOP will never back him, no matter how many compromises he makes. This is their opportunity to take him down. They should realize they are walking a fine line, this could all backfire on them.

    I just don't understand how the people believe all the out and out lies being put out there. I agree with Bill Moyers, I don't want to live in a civilization where people don't care about one another, health care for everyone. Keep what you have or Government run, like Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Insurance, ALL GOVERNMENT RUN PEOPLE.

    September 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm |