October 14th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Confident there'll be meaningful health care reform before end of year?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Despite all the hoopla over the Senate Finance Committee vote, there is still a very long way to go before health care reform becomes a reality. President Obama applauded Senator Olympia Snowe for becoming the first Republican to break ranks and vote for health care reform - but the truth is Snowe is keeping her options open.

Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) talks with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) before announcing her support for key health care reform legislation.

Her support sounded pretty conditional when she said: "My vote today is my vote today. It doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow."

And another centrist in the Senate, Independent Joe Lieberman, said he opposes the bill the way it is now because it would raise insurance prices for most Americans.

Meanwhile a group of almost 30 labor unions is warning that the Senate finance committee bill is deeply flawed. They say they'll oppose it - unless they see come changes. Big labor, a key Democratic constituency, is insisting a public health insurance plan is essential to reform.

And they're not the only ones... as the Senate committee passed its bill without a public option, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood on the other side of the Capitol still insisting the House would pass a bill with one. Pelosi also says a bill will pass "certainly this year."

Really? There's a lot of people who still aren't on board and a lot of legislative steps to go. At the end of the day - a committee vote does not a health care reform law make.

Here’s my question to you: How confident are you there will be meaningful health care reform before the end of the year?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Katja from Bradenton, Florida writes:
Hi Jack. No, nothing is going to happen. What we are going to get is the same old thing we always get: nothing. Insurance companies will continue as they are, the uninsured will remain that way, and those "wonderful" politicians with their designer suits and dresses, really great insurance and really large egos, will continue to get paid for doing nothing.

Sylvia from California writes:
Jack, There will be reform – whether it will be "meaningful" is yet to be seen. Whenever the government sticks its nose into anything, the word "meaningful" does not come into play.

Jerry from Jacksonville, Florida writes:
Jack, I'll bet you anything that there won't be a health reform bill this year and if there is, it won't be worth the paper that it is written on. Unless there is a public health option, there is no bill worth a damn. It will just be another way for the insurance companies to raise rates at the expense of the policy holders. The American people lose again.

Peter writes:
I am very confident. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is right on. She and Nobel Laureate Pres. Obama will do it.

Figueroa writes:
Jack, I find it difficult to find the words: I drank gallons of the hope-laced Kool-Aid last year. We did our part. We elected huge majorities of these so-called Democrats that now refuse to tow one of the most fundamental and important Democratic party lines. What else can we do? We completely set them up for a long-awaited success for the American people. They are pissing it away, and I for one am pissed off!

Pete from Augusta, Georgia writes:
Jack, About as confident as I am about the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. Wait until next year!

Filed under: Health care • Uncategorized
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    Health care reform, yes. Meaningful depends on how you look at it. Meaningful for the insurance industry’s profits, yes, for us, not hardly.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  2. Jim/NC

    Yes, I believe there will be something passed in the form of health care. What it will be is anybody's guess. But Jack, let me get this straight. We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee Whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a president that also hasn't read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a tresury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke. WHAT POSSIBLY COULD GO WRONG?

    October 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  3. william fitzwater

    I think its going to happen this year.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  4. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Oh, it will be meaningful, but meaningful to whom? Without the public option it will be meaningful to the health insurance industry because more citizens will be forced to buy their health insurance at the private health insurance company rates. It will also be meaninful to the politicians who are profiting greatly at the expense of their constituents, but of course that has been the norm for sometime now. Will the majority of the American people ever get meaningful health reform?

    October 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  5. Richard, in Kansas

    If there isn't the democrates can kiss their majority bye-bye.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm |

    I feel as confident as going on my first blind date.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  7. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, that depends on what you consider "meaningful". If you mean are they going to pass a health care reform bill that raises Senior's Medicare fees by 25% a month at a time when they are freezing SS cost of living raises, and are they going to pass a bill that cuts $500 B from Senior's/low income Medicare/Medicaid services, and are they going to pass a bill that transfers several hundred Billions of dollars in unfunded mandates to the states, the answer is "ABSOLUTELY YES". Count on it. The closed doors will produce a bill that will be "reconciled" in the senate and passed in the house and add several trillion dollars to the deficit in the next 10 years because the Congress will have to "fix" the original bill several times because they failed to get it right the first time. That is "THE CONGRESSIONAL WAY".

    October 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  8. B

    How confident am I? Not confident at all. Any reform that may come about will only benefit the insurance companies, the lobbies t that lobby for them, and the government officials that line their pockets with their money. They have people believing the sky will fall on us all if there is any reform in favor of the people. I believe the people will get the shaft as usual. Thats the only reform we're going to see.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  9. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    It depends on whether the House Democrats are willing to accept what is worked out in the Senate (or the other way around) and if some of the Senate Dems will vote for cloture even if they vote against the final bill.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Maria Jolicoeur

    Hello, Jack with the passing of the bill Tuesday in the Senate, the bill on health care that gives the public choice as to have health care insurance or not and it will cost 8 or so billion, it looks as though it will be sooner than the end of the year, before Americans begin to choose their health insurance. I am sure the insurance program that passed will be going into effect soon and the public will be mailed the appropriate information they will need to make a choice of health insurance. Respectfully, Maria Jolicoeur

    October 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  11. Linda in Arizona

    "Meaningful"? You mean a bill that actually benefits the average person, and poor people, not the insurance and pharmaceutical industries? I'm not confident that will happen in this century, much less this year. With the republican and blue dog obstructionists, and the lobbyists in the driver's seat, what hope is there of any "meaningful" reform EVER? Zero to none.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  12. David in San Diego

    I think it is seriously in doubt. As was true in the early Clinton years, the vehement opponents are capable of distorting and confusing the issue enough that many people would rather stick with a socially-indefensible private profit driven system than risk change. The well-insured won't budge until their family members die because the Emergency Room can't help them in time.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  13. Tim in Texas

    A bill will pass this year - and even if it is simply the bill from the finance committee it will be meaningful. But in order to really make a difference for everybody, the bill needs a public option. People want it by a 2 to 1 margin. 63% want it, while only 31% don't. The real problem is that Insurance Companies benefit when health care costs go up - if costs double their profits double. They have no incentive to attempt to lower the cost of what they sell - every other type of business does (except oil refineries).

    October 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  14. Raoul New Orleans, La

    I'll be confident when President Obama enacts a Public Option with a signing statement. The problem is not just health care; it's campaign finance. I hear much more senatorial concern about private insurance companies health rather than the health of their constituencies. Pass campaign finance reform, take the money out of campaigning and put the people in. Then we'll see true health reform!

    October 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  15. Jan from NJ

    Sure ! Sing along...."Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you..."

    October 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  16. Kirk (Apple Valley, Minnesota)

    Which "year" are you talking about Jack? If you mean this year, then I feel as confident as I do of winning the lottery. If you mean next year (2010), I feel as confident of winning $100K playing the lottery. If you mean by 2011, who knows.

    By the way. Why is everybody so worried about insurance prices going up for most Americans. It already does! Every year! And coverage either stays the same or decreases!

    October 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  17. Arlene, Illinois

    Why would the people in Congress, who have the best health
    coverage in the country, care about what the rest of the country
    gets. All they care about is their next election and who contributes
    to their fund. I'm afraid there will be little health care reform this year.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  18. Lisa, San Jose CA

    I think a bill will be passed and signed, but I don't think it will be a bill that actually solves the problems.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  19. Leslie

    Here's the thing the so called leaders really think we are dumb. There is no way they are going to pass a meaningful health care bill after all that happened over the summer. Nne of them want to lead because they are afraid of stepping on some ones toes. I think the citizens know that we are not going to get every thing that each of us want that would not be logical. But instead of being honest with us they want to tell us what they think we want to hear. Yeah they will pass some crap of a bill so that they can say they passed a health care bill but it will not amount to anything as congress always does. It is sickening!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  20. Corn Bob, Guthrey

    I don’t know if I’m trusting Olympia Snow yet, Jack. She just may be
    the Little Ceasar(Edward G. Robinson) of the republicans.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  21. Vinnie Vino


    According to our country's consititution majority rules and in the latest polls 61% of us favor a public option in any bill that makes it out of congress in order to get real health-care reform. What ever happened to that old american saying united we stand and divided we fail. The Repulican Party and a few Democrats in congress fail to fully understand this statement because they are more interested in protecting the status quo for the insurance companies...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  22. Denis Duffy

    If and when a bill is shoved through, it will be a fraud and flawed beyond belief. The Democrats want a legislative victory for Obama. The hell with an honest solution. When we start looking at our tax bills, we will all be sick.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  23. T. G. from the virgin islands

    We might have a real health reform bill before Christmas. Maybe.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  24. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Cautious Optomistic.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    October 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  25. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    Well, there will be health care reform passed before year's end simply because it is a political issue. Whether the reform that is passed is meaningful will take a few years to sort out because that's simply an economic and service issue.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  26. Ed from Tallahassee Florida

    It will pass, and might take a few years for all the dust to settle, but when it does America will be better-off.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  27. Sylvia from California


    There will be reform whether it will be "meaningful" is yet to be seen..
    Whenever the Government sticks it's nose into anything, the word "meaningful" does not come to play.....

    October 14, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  28. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack, I'll bet you anything that there won't be a health reform bill this year and if it is it won't be worth the paper that it is written on. Unless there is a public health option there is no bill worth a damn, it will just be another way for the insurance companies to raise rates at the expense of the policy holders. The american people lose again

    October 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  29. Richard Green


    There are 5 health insurance industry lobbyists for each member of Congress. The industry has spent more than a million dollars a day for months lobbying and contributing to the campaigns of both Republicans and Democrats. Harry Reid, who is going to be in charge of the reconcilliation process in the Senate, is one of those who has benefited greatly from industry largesse. Am I confident of meaningful reform? No. Hopeful? Yes.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  30. ken de

    I am not confident that there will be MEANINGFUL health care reform meaning the public option. The democratc senators like liberman, landreau, conrad, nelson, bacaus, lincoln and others are only for private plans not the public option. I do not believe that they will even allow the other democrats to vote for the public option using reconciliation. Greed and selfishness will prevent real health care reform. Any plan that is passed will only be an insurance giveaway, and not worth the paper it is printed on. Elections appear to be meaningless.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  31. Darren

    Not too confident with so many Congressmen/women being paid to keep the status quo right where it is now.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  32. Deb from Alabama

    I am confident with great faith in my President whom, I believe, has the whole of Americans in his best interests. I don't know about you Jack, but as for myself, I need help. My husband and I can barely afford our insurance premiums, which went up 15% in 6 mo. We're just average people who have never been sick until now. It's awful. We pray for health reform

    October 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  33. Derek (Sacramento, CA)

    I’m confident something will get passed, but I can almost guarantee you it will be worthless to the average American. Congress is clearly in the pockets of major insurers, pharmaceutical companies and health care organizations, and they have proven time and time again base decisions on campaign contributions. I’m just as angry with Democrats as I am with Republicans. What happened to “by the people and for the people”?

    October 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  34. Ken in NC

    Jack, as long as the Health Care Industries are paying Congress more than we pay them, I am not to confident we will have a bill passed before Christmas of 2021. Yes Jack, that is the right year unless hell freezes over sooner.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  35. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    About as confident as I am about the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series – wait til next year!!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  36. steve

    There is absolutely not chance of meaningful reform. Congress is to deeply divided. I would, however, bet on an empty bill by the end of the sessoin.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  37. Michael from Atlanta

    I am EXTREMELY confident they'll pass meaningful health reform this year. Absolutely!

    And, also, I am drunk.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  38. Joe

    To paraphrase Clinton:
    It depends on what the meaning of meaningful means.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  39. Peter M

    I AM VERY CONFIDENT. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is right on. She and and Nobel Laureate, Prez. Obama will do it.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  40. Monique Couillard

    This year! If Health Care Reform happens before 2020 I'll be shocked

    October 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  41. Katja, Bradenton, Florida

    Hi Jack,
    NO, nothing is going to happen. What we are going to get is the same old thing we always get, Nothing.
    Insurance companies will continue as they are, the uninsured will remain that way, and those "wonderful" politicians with their designer suits and dresses, really great insurance and really large egos, will continue to get paid for doing nothing.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  42. Tom in Iowa

    Meaningful health care reform? That would mean health care that covered everyone, this legislation leaves out over 17 million people and forces everyone else to buy into a system that EVERYONE admits is broken without fixing it first. How is that Meaningful? It sounds like another cop-out by Washington because they are worried about reelections next year. I want anyone to answer why we sit by and ALLOW nearly 50 thousand people to DIE each year because they cannot get health care treatment or are denied coverage by their insurance companies. Come talk to me about 'meaningful' when they address that issue.

    Tom in Iowa

    October 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  43. Ken in NC

    Jack, if we have a health care bill before years end, I will give consideration to getting married again. On second thought, I dont know.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  44. Ian, Pittsburgh

    Reform will come ...... right after mideast peace on Christmas. This won't be solved for a long time to come when there is profit to be made and human greed waiting with fork, knife and bib on .... waiting to be fed.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  45. Michelle, San Francisco

    Jack: I am not fascinated by this whole healthcare debate between Repub and Dems. I am disgusted!!!
    And no, something in my bones tells me that this country will not get the decent health care reform it deserves and that is shame.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  46. paul

    As sure as the fact war will go on with no end site!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  47. Jim

    Not without the public option Jack! That's the only provision that would free Americans from the greedy health insurance companies and their just as greedy stockholders. BTW, if the Republicans had their way, we'd have no reform at all. It's time to send them and some so called blue dogs home and get someone else in Washington who will represent the people rather than special interests. We know who they are thanks to the media.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  48. Mike in Quebec

    Sure there will be a useless health care reform bill that appeases the big pharma, insurance, unions, doctors associations (of course) and big business. It is unfortunate that the US cannot understand the the health and well-being is a right and not an option. But so many years of going in the wrong direction has created a monster that can't be stopped.

    The United States remains the ONLY country in the whole world that does not see medicine as a human right! Weird huh?

    October 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  49. Steve Fortgang

    Jack – With all these local "Home-Town" meetings ... once would think to ask two basic questions:
    1. For those citizens under 65 and paying there own premiums ...
    a) will our premiums go down

    October 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  50. Todd G

    Meaningful to who? And by the end of what year?

    October 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  51. Ed Sindelar

    Meaningful is the key word! Not much sense in doing something that won't lead to a real reform. Obviously we need to reform, isn't obvious we have reform all around us, but if it is not meaningful, then, what has been accomplished. Do we not teach our children this basic life skill, that a meaningful change is effective vs doing the same old same old, that gets us no where, unless of course you are in the "top" 1%. Get on with it, a negative cash flow is at least cash flow......

    October 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Jack, I'm at the point now where i don't even care anymore. I'm going to take my Pension and Social Security and move to a developing country (Philippines).

    October 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  53. Don-Northwood,Ohio

    If Our Government EVER got a Meaningful Health Care Bill passed I would have to ask if someone finally seen it Snow in Hell or Is Judgment Day here? So rare to see them actually DO something for The "People"!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  54. Bill - Bristow, VA

    Jack –
    the key word in your question is "meaningful". Congress hasn't done anything "meaningful" in recent memory. Oh, they'll pass something that 1) doesn't cover everyone; 2) doesn't cost less; 3) isn't deficit neutral unless it taxes everyone; and 4) in general screws up all the good things about the insurance people have now. Then they'll pat themselves on the back, hit the Sunday talk shows to brag, and go over to the White House for a photo-op and a free pen when the President signs the bill into law.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  55. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    I am 100 percent confident there will NOT be "meaningful" health care reform by the end of the year or later. It will be complex legislation that none of our elected keepers will read in full, will offer changes to pharmaceutical, medical professionals, lawyers and etc., which will only fine tune the obscure money path for their corrupt systems. It will include illegals or undocumented populations at the expense of the taxpayers because the drug industry and cheap labor associated with it will buy the legislation. It will be more expensive, if not for the current population for the yound and yet unborn.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Ellen Rosser

    How sure? 100%. This nurse can't wait. Barack, Barack! He's our man! If he can't do it, nobody can! Just ask the Nobel committee.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Vic from Wantagh, NY

    Some senator needs to stand up on the senate floor and read JFK's book ; "Profiles In Courage".

    October 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Ruth

    Not very – Congress' prioities seem to be much different than average citizens, Jack, otherwise we'd have more logical laws in place, less crime and less illegal immigration.


    October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  59. carla

    Would it be nice if the Dem.'s played this just right to get final bill out of committee– and now full steam ahead with true reform with public option. We will get some form passed this year. I pray they have grown a pair and my first comment is correct

    October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  60. penny

    A bill will pass this year...it will leave millions uninsured, cost tax payers billions, fraud will be rampant, medicare will suffer but we will be able to tout historic victory..after all,wasn't this the plan all along .

    October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  61. cheenie

    Both parties are out of control...period.....
    if lobbying were illegal it would solve many "problems" caused today...
    that would be too simple for all of these thieves......

    October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Ukiah Busch

    It is astonishingly disappointing that it has even taken this long to get a workable healthcare bill to the floor. With such a majority in both houses, I must question both the backbone and the actual motives of Democrats who can't or won't deliver on this major campaign promise. Getting it right and reaching across the isle are important, but the country is ready for moves in the OPPOSITE direction of the last 8 years. Democrats NEED to make it happen.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Frank Nardo Cape Coral FL

    without a public option in the healthcare bill, it won't matter much, the arrogant health care industry will have won, I will not participate in any federal plan that appeases the Insurance Industry even if it means getting fined. I would rather see Washington take more time to get it right than to build the president's resume with a false bill which does nothing for the people.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. donna sexton

    Yeh, I think a bill will be passed, We Americans are not only mad as He-–, we all know someone who has been thrown under the bus by these insurance pirates, we are fast becoming a dispert nation under seige . It is fast becoming apparent the politians may be the largest segment of this socity that is in danger of unemploment.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  65. Gigi Oregon

    If it doesn't happen it will be the Republican party that will be blamed. If the majority need health care the Republicans will not have a chance to pick up seats. If it fails many people will risk not having insurance which will or might be a surprise to the greedy insurance companies. So our Repersentives may want to think clearly before they decide which to cast their vote.
    The average worker or the unemployed can not make insurance payments. They would be better off to set aside some health care money in their mattress.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  66. T. Bartis

    No confidence at all that there will be a meaningful Healthcare Reform.
    Too many congressman have been bought off by the various industries and no longer represent the voters, they represent whoever has paid them off!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  67. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    No Jack, without the ' public option' the rest of it will be a sham and the private 'greed' insurance companies will only foist their supposed losses onto the customers' extended payments!!! Time to join the rest of the advanced nations and CARE for all your citizens!!!!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  68. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    It's a shame that health reform is not a sure thing. Americans need it and America needs it. Partisanship, greed, healthcare insurance fears, ignorance, and lack of compassion are all playing a role. The media is whipping up conflict wherever it can. None of these elements have any conscience. No one is putting the American people and their needs first. To answer your rhetorical question–I certainly hope so, but I wouldn't call it a sure thing.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  69. James, Brooklyn-NY

    Looney Tunes....I just need a real good healthcare bill with public options. That's all folks!!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  70. Jimio

    What part the word " option" does the Republicans not understand, they need to look at Webster's definition. We can always choose what plan we get. They will always be the part of no!!!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  71. Brian Smith PhD

    Jack, here is the key word to your question "meaningful." Further, the question should be meaningful to whom? It will NEVER be meaningful to individuals as long as our lawmakers are "in the pocket" of influence peddlers, lobbyists, and big business money. Eventually we will end up with something similar to the Senior Citizen Prescription Bill that ended up written by the Pharmaceutical lobbyists and aimed directly toward the benefit of the Pharmaceutical Companies. The citizens are sooooo screwed with this whole thing.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  72. Robert Hankins

    I do not believe the Congress is capable of doing anything meaningful on any subject, much less health care reform. Meaningful being the key word! Some bill may get the approval from our Congress, but it will not be meaningful.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  73. Joshua Reese

    I think we will, but to what end I'm not sure. Republicans such as Olympia Snowe give hope for a potential open-mindedness taking hold in the RNC. Sens. Shumer & Leahy should go after the health insurance industry w/every anti-trust legal maneuver they can think of. Their Benedict Arnold move, after offering their 'sincerest promise' to President Obama for cooperation, is enough to show the nation where the lobbyists' collective interests truly lie. Hopefully, the Republican party will stop ignoring the polls suggesting the majority of Americans want affordable healthcare for all Americans, and stop acting like the Obama administration has stolen something from them.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  74. Joshua Thompson


    In a political envirement where no one is innocent; Where everyone has someones elses money in thier pocket, I dont think there is any way to got meaningful health care reform passed. I had a lung condition that happened when I was 2 years old. Were it not for my employment i would not have health insurance.

    I get health insurance from the military and yet my health insurance is provided via a commercial company! This company has lobbyists just like normal health insurance companies! The labor unions have lobbyists! Until people start caring about the voters and not the money in thier pocket there will not be meaningful health care reform.

    Politics is the same whether its the right or the left. Either way its money in the pocket that dictates the policies. The question isnt whether money is biuying the votes of our lawmakers, but whos money is buying it.

    Thanks Jack


    October 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  75. judy Best

    I think that healthcare reform would have a good chance of passing by year end if the republicans would stop trying to scare people away from the government run option. As a Canadian who cares about my American neighbours who are suffering under the current plan, I am sick and tired of the B.S. that the GOP is spewing about our system. The only way you would get a Canadian to give up their healthcare system is with a shotgun!!
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

    October 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  76. Birddog in Mississippi

    If we want meaningful reform, then every democrat that lives in a state with a Bluedog Senator needs to pick up the phone and call that Senator. They need to tell them the following: If you don't vote for a public option, I will show up at the primaries to vote for anybody but you. If you are the only Democrat running, I will vote for a Republican - because you are worthless to me and I am sick of having my money - that I pay for Health Insurance - being used to lobby you or for your campaign. That's my money. That money is supposed to be used to pay for my health care if I get sick - not to have you insure that Health Insurance Companies continue to rake in HUGE profits.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  77. elizabeth of sacramento

    People are actually starting to wake up about our social inequities. Yes, I'm confident we will have health reform this year because all the insurance companies & politicians subterfuge doesn't escape us anymore. Plus the president will keep putting the pressure on bought & sold dems until the will of the people (inc. public option) wins out.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  78. Linda

    Probably NOT. Congress is like spoiled children. ME, Me Me.
    Why don't they each make their own health care bill. send it out to the voting taxpayers and LET THE PEOPLE VOTE FOR WHAT IS BEST FOR THEM. OOPS , yeh, like that will happen. We're still waiting for them to abolish the electorial colleg, and let the people's vote count. I sometime why we are even here. Nothing We say matters.


    October 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  79. John O. Snoberger, CA.

    If Congress can cut through the red tape on healthcare, and with a little push from the WhiteHouse. Congress can get this bill passed by the end of the year!


    October 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  80. David --Sisters OR

    Change -maybe, meaningfull -no. While millions of Americans were losing their jobs they gave themselves a raise–you think these same people are going to give up their Health Insurance Company payday??

    October 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  81. dan ballard fl.

    Zero chance!Even if our elected idiots could come to a basic consensus one unknown member would add an amendment so ludicrous they would have to scrap the whole thing!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  82. Maaz, Ventura, CA

    Considering we've reached farther than Clinton-Care has, I'm cautiously optimistic that reform will pass this year. With all due respect Mr. Cafferty, Sen. Snowe did not have to vote for this bill for it to pass, BUT she did, because she is pushing for reform, not hoping it fails like most GOP. Just because she has not committed herself to future votes does not mean she is trying to stall it. I believe there are many great ideas left to be considered and that meaningful reform is worth the careful debate. So yes, I believe it will get passed this year, but not without rightful compromise from democrats; and I support Ms. Snowe's trigger method for the public option– it should be seriously considered.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  83. Neil, Toronto

    I am fully confident of my health care, but I live in Canada. With the current chaos in the U.S. Congress, I would have serious doubts anything will happen soon in the U.S..

    October 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  84. sandra

    no , as long as it get pass in the Next three years. Why? because people will be working just to pay for health insurance within the next three years I will be paying two hundred dollars biweekly that $4,800 a year this is according to the prediction from the insurance company

    October 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  85. David --Sisters OR

    PS-Change hell–I dropped Blue Cross and went with the V.A. besides being cheaper–the waiting room is fun:-)

    October 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  86. stella

    Jack, I presume you are joking.
    The definition of the term "Meaningful" as it pertains to health care reform is as elusive as the definition of "win" is in regards to the wars this country is currently engaged in.
    Meaningful reform will only take place if the elected officials do their jobs, and represent the best interests of the country, not the best interests of the health insurance industry. We know that will not happen any time soon.
    After 30 years working in the insurance industry, I agree with a very knowledgable gentleman I had the pleasure of working with – He often said that 'Health insurance "fine printers" should be castrated at birth, because they breed true.' Being able to give benefits with the big print and take it away in the fine print is deeply imbeded in the health insurance DNA.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  87. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Yes I am. The republicans and big business have invested a great deal of capital to defeat it. I believe once it gets to the presidents desk, there will be revisions that will enhance the program and make it more effective. This is just the first step, and none too soon.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  88. Jessica Wulf

    I am not at all confident in REAL healthcare reform this year. In fighting the health giants, the reform that really needs to happen...will never happen. I would be dead if I hadn't recieved government run insurance. I was one of those people that one recieved healthcare through E.R'S, then I decided that for me to live, I needed healthcare. I fought for almost 4 years to get my healthcare, and if I hadn't they would have never found the brain tumor. Twelve people will die in the one hour of CNN programming. Real reform should be helping the people that need it the most. Jack, how can we ever have a fighting chance on recieving real change in this country? When passed legislation is purchased, instead of passing legislation because it's the right thing to do.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  89. Fillagot

    Right now, It seems like the greed of the insurance companies is prevailing over sanity and logic. They are fighting relentlessly to get their way. I'm not confident at all that any meaningful health care bill will pass this year with the way things are going right now. I just hope for a miracle

    October 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  90. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    I'm more hopeful than confident but the chance seems to have been improved now that the Senate Finance mess has been voted out of committee. Next to recieve the scrutinity is Speaker Reid. I want a singlepayer system and these majority Dem's better not let us all down, as is customary of them.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  91. jeff in hawaii


    I'm more confident that I'll find a way to turn lead into gold.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  92. steve in florida

    There's only one battle of consequence underway. The so-called Public Option. In lieu of completely shutting down the insurance trolls that pop out from every bridge to collect their outrageous non-productive tolls, if not completely denying passage, it at least gives some of us the hope of wading across somewhere down-stream.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  93. a.c. of La.

    How meaningful I dont know, or for whom, but I really think we will have something this year..........but I dont know what.....

    October 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  94. Debbie

    Lets be clear – this is not about reforming health care. Its about insurance reform. And I hope it does not pass until the President's
    "sacred cow" , TORT REFORM is addressed.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  95. Steve

    Jack, I'm confident that meaningful health care reform can be passed by year end. However, the democrats must be more aggressive in their approach to health care reform. The last time I checked, there wasn't a political party called "Blue Dogs". The democrats should expose the Blue Dogs as embedded republicans and move forward without them. The insurance companies and republicans are ruthless in their approach to health reform; therefore the democrats have to adopt their methods.

    Phila., Pa

    October 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  96. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    Your key word is “meaningful”.

    There will be reform but it probably won’t be what is needed.
    It may even have some type of public option but it won’t be very strong.

    What is important is that, at long last, we will take a giant leap toward health care for all citizens.

    You know, like the rest of the industrialized world.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  97. Dean Hitchman

    We the people have lost so much confidence that our elected officials have any power or will to think without getting the OK from the Insurance Bosses, It is making me depressed already as to what reform on health care will have in it. Yes, I think they will pass reform but it will amount to a bone they will throw at us at the last minute, hoping we the people will swallow it! Isn't this the way it usually goes?

    Dean H.
    Potsdam, NY

    October 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  98. Rick

    I think it will take at least 4 more years before there is any meaningful Health Care Reform. And I think it's ridiculous that Senator Snowe is being called a "Maverick." Was Sen. Cohen a "Maverick" – she is only doing what is best for our state (Maine), and for people everywhere. Maine Republicans are not conservative – we are middle of the road.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  99. conrad, Atlanta

    What choice do the democrats have? If they don't deliver, they can't govern. If they can't govern, they should be voted out like the republicans. This cycle should complete itself until one party or the other does what is right for the good of the country.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  100. T.Thomas Abilene Tx.

    Not too confident.It seems so simple:All Americans have a right to affordable health care. Insurance companies do not have a "right" to anything. Some in Congress have it backward, don't they?

    October 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  101. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Health Care Reform will pass this year. As to it being meaningful, that is up to us. We must constantly contact all politicians to let them know we demand Public Option and will not accept or tolerate any plan
    to subsidizes or aid the insurance companies.
    Even with the party of NO and big business fighting it tooth and nail.
    the people will prevail if we stick to our guns.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  102. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY

    Jack, the problem was in the packaging.

    Change the name from the "public option" to " medicare for everyone", increase payments to health care providers 15% for all enrollees under the age of 65, and invite all public officials opposed to the change to log on to einsurance.com and purchase their own insurance.

    That would be meaningful enough.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  103. Steve Canada

    I think so..Meaniful is like beauty, its in the eye of the beholder..You have to allow the existing to peacefully co-exist with the new. This is like watching sausage being made...Its ugly to watch, but fundamentally it has to lower costs as well as serve a greater piece of the population..They will get there...patience...And quit listening to the fringe..They are crazy..

    October 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  104. Barbara in NC

    Depends on President Snowe – she seems to have All THE power. I didn't vote for her, did you?

    October 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  105. Jackie in Dallas

    Why do I bother? CNN loses everything I put in anyway.

    Here it goes...again. It won't be meaningful until we prove to the members of Congress that they work for us, not for the insurance companies. We do that by deluging their offices with faxes, emails, letters, etc. about what we want (which is a public option and caps on profits for the insurance companies!). If they balk, we kick their butts out of office, no matter how much money they throw into ads and other bull pookey. And we do it to both parties until they get the message.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  106. jon

    Jack: Yes I do and it will contain a public option; As i wrote Spr. Pelosi this morning, the Insurers have thrown down the fear gauntlet that even w 40 million younger healthier new customers they will raise the prices. It is Now or Never 4 the Public Option; we do not have to take their gouging any more. "Fear is the Mind Killer" Herbert's "Dune". Everybody go forward, cram health-care w public option down the monopolistic big brother insurance companies throat. They are not your or your employers friends.
    Protect All Americans.
    Jon in California

    October 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  107. shirleyamodio

    I would sure hope so!! With cancer, I really need something done, I don't really look forward to dropping DEAD before they get around to fixing this mess!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  108. Jerry

    Meaningful No, Profitable yes, for all the law makers and Obama, Bush and Cheney did the same thing but they did it with the war in Iraq. Obama has decided to get his cut in the health care and the cap and Trade. Much as the republican's knew where to invest and and trade knowing the war was going to start, and what investments would be the most money makers. Democrats can't be left out either they have to do as well as the last Administration or better.But they could not do it again in war, we have gotten to know that ploy. The democrats are poised to invest and gain billions of dollars. Kind of like insider trading, but the opposite they are investing, knowing laws will be changed again knowing that they can't lose their invesments. All on American taxpayers backs,portraying getting health care for all Americans. There is no health care crisis, All they had to do is regulate insurance companies, and make some ajustments to laws. they do not need all this hub bub, to fix health care. I wasted my 2008 vote. Jerry/ Iowa

    October 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  109. Kim - Blair, NE

    The bill passed thru committee is meaningful in that at least something is moving somewhere. Along with the stupid statements released by the insurance companies the night before, I am pretty optimistic that there will be a bill with some sort of public option by the end of the year. Give them enough rope & they wil eventually hang themselves!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  110. Pamela holt

    Foley,al I,"m worn out from all the fighting. You would think that the members of congress who are against health reform, with the public option , would stop biting the hands of the American people who , who are feeding them. The American people should be keeping an eye on all those who are. holding up healthcare reform, vote them out of office, and putting them in the shoes of alot of our brothers and sisters , jobless, and looking for healthcare. Until they actually see how it feels, they are going to continue in the same cold and callous path, of trying to deter any kind of change that will benefit the majority of the american citizens....

    October 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  111. David from the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS!!!!!

    Jack call me naive, or call me stupid if you want. But after months of smears, false allegations about the Health bill, people carrying guns to townhall meetings, and screaming at the top of their lungs for simply trying to explain facts about the bill, we've finally reached the breaking point.
    I not only believe that there will be meaningful reform before 2010, but I also believe that there will be a public option on it...mark my words.
    This is the time when all those filthy rich executives from the insurance companies are starting to loose their sleep and we normal taxpayers can sleep a little better for a change!!!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  112. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    If there isn't, or the industry get its way and kills the public option, it will be a monumental loss. Heck, it's not about killing the public option anymore. Failure to enact reform is simply killing the public.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  113. Jason, Koloa HI

    Something will pass because there are enough democrats, including the blue-dogs who need to do something about healthcare before the 2010 elections. If they do nothing they will be the second political party on its way to obscurity right behind the republicans. The question is how meaningful the reform will be. If it does nothing to change the obscene profits of insurance, pharmaceutical and other middleman corporations then it will be pretty meaningless.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  114. Ron in Phoenix

    Great. Congress Jeff Flake goes Gilligan on us on a desert island knowing full well that if anything happens to him during his 3-hour cruise, he is covered by the best health-care plan taxpayer money can buy. What about the Americans that can't "survive" in their own homes. If Flake is still against meaningful health care reform, I have a message for him: Go back to the island little buddy. Sick of Congress, sick of lobbyists and sick without adequate health care.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  115. Dr. Dan NY

    What reform? Too few primary care physicians, paid less per hour than plumbers, won't have time to study molecular medicine revolution that individualizes care. Patients won't change eating, drinking, smoking, drug habits, seeing their illnesses as a bag of woes they drop-off at doctor's office so they can go back to their "normal" life styles. Institute of Medicine will impose rigid statistical "best practices" that can't be personalized. The "reform" amounts to going back to 1950s medicine on the cheap. HMOs "entrepreneurs" (French word for taker-in-between) will keep putting profit ahead of healthcare, making it like cannibalism where weak, infirmed and old get eaten.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  116. Brittany McGuire (Columbus, Ohio)

    Well, if by some miracle I fall into a deep coma, awake in a different year but not told, then possibly meaningful health care reform is likely.

    This is turning to be a drama soap opera and the plot just thickens everyday.

    The US Goverment is united that health care reform and health insurance costs needs change, yet the politcal bodies stand on different sidelines seeing who can throw the hailmarry.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  117. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The last time I was told something would be meaningful, it didn't include me.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  118. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida


    If you define meaningful healthcare reform as
    1. insurance that I choose
    2. see a doctor I choose
    3.at a price I choose
    4 pay premiums for coverage I understand
    5. Insurance that is not related to employment
    6 insurance that is non discrimtory where everyone pays the same amount regardless of health, age weight

    The answer is no I don't think it will be this year

    October 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  119. rb in rome georgia

    If it's not passed with the public option then it's not real reform and furthermore, what good is having a democratic majority if they can't pass it with the public plan. Dems can kiss the majority goodbye if they do not. I know I will not vote for them again if they do not pass it because they are wimps. Repubs. on the other hand are ruthless hatemongers and I would not vote for them for a billion dollars. I will vote for third party candidates.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  120. Fighting to Survive, Michigan

    Meaningful is in the eye of the beholder! I'm a pre-existing condition waiting to happen...so if a bill is signed which prevents insurance companies from excluding me, I'd say its meaningful.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  121. chuck b // coastal north carolina

    We are on the right track...... we still need the public option for this to be real health reform,if not the insurance companies have won again with the help of the rightwings .

    October 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  122. Mike Bielamowicz

    Babies crawl before they walk, and they walk before they run. Why does this Whitehouse and this Congress believe Health Care should be sprinting to the finish line? Open up the states to competition. Make changes to where the poor are covered. The whole system doesn't require and overhaul. Maybe its our leaders who need to be overhauled. Democrats and Republicans.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm |

    I do believe we will have a health program soon, that is after what, 50 years of contention?
    Obama has chosen the narrow path – he will succeed..

    October 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  124. Barbara in NC

    Republicans are our DEATH PANEL. Does that give you a clue?

    October 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  125. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    VERY Confident!

    October 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  126. Gwendlyin Waters

    People who never read any thing watch TV. Yes we will have a health bill with a public option, despite the big time killers on top of the food chain.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  127. Bob

    Hi Jack,
    I would like to know that if we as tax payers own 70% of AIG, how come we do not have control over the ridiculous bonuses paid by AIG.
    Very frustrating.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm |

    Very confident. Considering all of the Republican opposition, President Obama has already done more about health care, than Bush did in the eight years he and Chaney were in office.
    I'm really satisfied with our new President, he is interested in everyone's problems, not just the wealthy.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  129. Stephen

    Well if its not a Medicare for the rest of us, this democrat does not want it. I got no job and so I have no money to pay for insurance, and when I get a job it will most likely NOT have health insurance included. While I would love to make enough to afford insurance if it covered everything....and IF I could afford it.
    When you make maybe 10 bucks an hour, 400 a month for insurance is way way to much.
    Jacksonville, Fl

    October 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  130. Barbara in NC

    Only if it means more money for Health Ins. Companies and the meaningful contributions they make to our """"""representatives""""" that do NOT represent us.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm |