November 17th, 2009
03:50 PM ET

Should health care be the government’s responsibility?

More and more Americans are saying health care is not the government's responsibility.

More and more Americans are saying health care is not the government's responsibility.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

More and more Americans are saying health care is not the government's responsibility.

A new Gallup poll shows 50% of those surveyed say the federal government should not have to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage... while 47% say this is the government's job. This marks a big shift in attitudes from the past decade... and it's the first time since Gallup started tracking this question that more people are against the idea.

The reason for this shift is unknown... although it's possible that the current debate has increased Americans' skepticism about the role government could play in health care.

A poll by the Associated Press seems to back this up as well... it shows that Americans are worried about the hidden costs in reforming health care. Although most people agree that major changes are needed... the current Democratic bills are not getting strong support.

This poll suggests the public is now onto the fact that when it comes to these pieces of legislation, the devil is in the details.

Meanwhile - don't hold your breath for health care reform to happen any time soon. Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate won't rush the legislation... and that lawmakers can count on a lot of amendments.

McConnell says the only way to guarantee that all of the senators and the American people can really understand the bill is to –quote - "delay the process."

Should health care be govt’s responsibility?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Yes. The role of the government is to protect its citizens. This isn't just limited to military force. We have Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. The nations around the world that have heavy government involvement in the health care system have the best results, with few exceptions. If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to protect people.

Jim in Canada
The mammogram decision says it all, cost before care. The government can control doctors' decisions simply by not covering procedures that can save lives. We see it in our care in Canada. Americans should be absolutely sure about the public option limitations and control before you let your representative vote yes rather than blindly agreeing just because it sounds good.

Ricardo in Cypress, Texas

Hell no. The government's responsibility is to provide opportunity and the tools needed to its people so they are able to achieve high-quality education, well-paid jobs, support their family and be successful by their own means and determination. But I guess we are expecting too much from our politicians in Washington.

It's one of the few things for which the government should definitely be responsible. It's right up there with infrastructure and national defense... Every other civilized country in the world correctly believes it is in everyone's best interest to have a healthy population. But here, you take a back seat to a green god named "dollar."

Denise in San Jose, California
This is why the Democrats are in such a hurry to pass this very bad bill. The longer we have to find out what is really in it, the less support they have for it. We all want reform, but not this. They need to take their time and pass a bill that is good for everyone. There is no rush to pass it, coverage wouldn't even start for another 5-7 years.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, as a Canuck, the answer is HELL YEAH !!!
    The profiteers of your insurance/ medical banditry have no concern about the lower third of your population and the risk of bankruptcy to the upper classes who face such due to catastrophic health issues !!
    970,000 Yanks per year declaring such bankruptcy SHOULD be the clarion call to change to a public single user pay system !!! The Yank in Vancouver, Canada paying $57[Canadian !!] monthly for medical coverage seems delighted with the coverage but seems ignored by the news networks !! The question is WHY ?? !!!

    November 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  2. Mike in Greeley, CO

    We have a right to Life, Liberty, and Property. Its hard to say that you support these rights if you deny basic health care to the people of your country. It is as simple as that Jack...and for anyone to deny health care coverage to an American citizen to to go against the most basic of American philosophy.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  3. John

    Jack, Yes health care for all Americans is our responsibility. We ARE the government and will forever pay the price financialy and emotionaly for the lack of universal care. We will always pay for health care in other countries but will we decline coverage for our own? Some people who don't qualify (illegal aliens) will slip through the cracks, but those citizens of the African countries we help, are not citizens of the U.S. either. God Bless America!

    November 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  4. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    I used to believe that everyone was responsible for his or her own healthcare, that government need not be involved. However, my views have changed. I have finally taken to heart what Ted Kennedy used to say; that healthcare should not be a privilege but a right. (And I must add that I am not necessarily a big Ted Kennedy fan.) There is no good humanitarian reason why someone's health — and life — should be tethered to their bank account. Capitalism is one thing. But letting a fellow human being suffer or die needlessly should be unacceptable in our society. So if Republicans are so wedded to ideology, let them refocus the ideology of smaller government to the Christian morality of caring for their neighbors.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  5. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Who are these people they poll? Yes it should be the governement's responsibility and they should get the money to finance it from Wall Street. It's the least they could do.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  6. Richard Green


    Yes. At a minimum gov't should regulate health insurance rates in the same way that utility rates are regulated. The industry must meet proscribed levels of service, may not discontinue coverage, may not increase rates unless a PUC- like commission approves an increase, must meet customer satisfaction requirements if they are to be allowed to continue to sell their insurance products, and states should be allowed to exceed gov't standards and offer competing coverage wherever they see fit. Who other than the gov't will protect us from the insurance monopoly?

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  7. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Jack: As of this date, the American people are supporting the insurance companies. Doesn't seem to be working does it? I think government run insurance should be given a chance before we throw the baby out with the bath water. But those immoral crooks in Congress will never allow it. I will be laughing when my country goes bankrupt. No one will have health insurance then. We deserve what we get. And let's nor blame the President for this. He has tried his best to improve things. I don't think anyone can save us! We are killing ourselves because we are sheep.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  8. Pat | Pittsburgh

    No. Congress and the Obama dream team cannot put together a coherent plan in over 10 months. The Senate is still waiting for the final Congressional version. And with so many provisions it will be impossible to implement and run. And government oversight? I shudder to think about how that's going to operate.


    November 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  9. Hugo Kijne

    The government's responsibility is to curb extreme profits by the insurance companies and the pharmaceuticals, as well as put caps on awards received through malpractice litigation. If the government did all that, it wouldn't have to be in the health care business.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  10. David

    Nowhere in the Constitution does it authorize Congress to take over an industry or corporations (think AIG, GM etc.). When Nancy Pelosi was asked where in the Constitution is Congress authorized to take over Healthcare her answer was "You have got to be kidding me" when asked again she cut off the reporter's mike. Most Americans still believe in the Constitution even if Congress and Nancy does not.


    November 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  11. Grant from Idaho

    Jack; The government should not be responsible for providing healthcare to everyone. However, the government should be responsible for making sure we can all afford healthcare. The only way to do this is to have everyone eligble to buy affordable healthcare and to help those that cannot afford the costs and tax those that do not buy in to help pay for the increased costs caused by their refusal to participate. Or we could just say that if you don't buy into an insurance plan, health care will not be provided unless the costs are paid up front.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  12. chaney, La.

    The government does have a role to play, to ensure that the American people get a fair shake, and if they are not getting that , to take the necessary steps to insure it.....Where would minorities be without the involvement of government? MItch McConnell and his ilk are not interested in getting this healthcare reform sorted out..... they are interested only in opposing anything ......Obama......

    November 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  13. Virginia Jack

    No and no. Health care is an individual responsibility, period. In general, if you take care of yourself – eat right, exercise, don't smoke or engage in unhealthly or risky behaviors- you'll keep your own health care costs low. This is the incentive people need to stay healthy. Providing health care will yield the opposite. For unexpected events (contracting diseases, accidents), you need insurance BEFORE you get sick. When I buy a house, I buy homeowners insurance (again, BEFORE something happens to it), because if I don't and something bad happens, it's my responsibility. We need to encourage people to get health insurance early, give them greater choice (by removing barriers to purchasing health care insurance out of state) and reducing the cost of health care by controlling the outrageous settlements on lawsuits against doctors. Contrary to what most people think, the health insurers, nor the doctors, nor the pharmaceutical companies are getting rich off the health care system, so President Obama should stop demonizing them. It's the lawyers who are getting wealthy off of people's misfortunes.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  14. Wayne McKinney

    In our rugged individualist society federal health care is the only way to be fair about health care.

    People who are against a federal takeover are basically selfish.

    It only costs 1% to run Social Security. Social Security executives have salary caps. Tell me, where is the inefficiency?

    It boggles my mind that the people at the bottom who have the most to gain are the ones affected by the fear mongering white wing, excuse me, right wing.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  15. Jim in Alabama

    If you adhere to the belief that health care for all should NOT be for profit, then yes. As long as you have giant insurance companies operating a monopoly in many states (example Blue Cross and Blue Shield has a monopoly in Alabama) there's no competition. They can charge any way they want. If competition is the foundation to the free market system, then why has our health care industry become such a monopoly? That's dead wrong! I believe that health care for all is a basic human right and so do most other countries. It';s time we flushed out the greed, corruption, mismanagement, and monopolies that exist within our present health care system and put together a plan that covers all and requires ALL pay.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  16. Patty.D. Bristol, Pa.

    Dear Jack, My husband and I pay almost $800 dollars a month and you know what? My insurance doesn't barely cover anything,. From X-Rays to co-payments, Hell they wouldn't even cover my daughter's physical! So, why not. I'm willing to pay for or accept something like Medicare or Medicade. Why should the younger generation get socked with these horrible prices. What about the next generation? My husband and I know many in their 40s who can't afford insurance at all. We just ask for a system that is fair.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm |

    We could go on running Americans who have been paying all their lives for health insurance into bankruptcy when they come to use it. We pay double what other countries do per capita for health care yet we need Spaghetti Feeds and Collection Cans in Convenience Stores to pay the copays, deductibles, out-of-pocket and any other gimmick your insurance company can come up with. Canadians live longer than us in part because they leave the hospital and doctor's office without a clue or a care about what it cost. "Provide for the Common Defense" should include disease.
    Terry DeLoughary
    Bark River, Michigan

    November 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  18. Steve

    Health care should be a responsibility of government when a citizen who has a dire need for medical assistance but cannot afford either the cost of insurance or helath care.

    Otherwise, the government, federal and state, should not be in the business, but should have oversight to insure proper regulation of cost and services. If left to their own devices, insurance Companies would let us all die to make a buck, and politicians who are paid to support the Insurance Co. stance should be found guilty of an ethics violation and impeached for conflict of interest.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  19. George H York

    For those of you who think the Canadian, single payer healthcare system is good, you need to be aware that while more people are covered, you MAY get decent basic care, after a waiting period that most Americans will not tolerate, but if you have a complex or serious problem, you may be denied care for your condition on the basis that you are either too old or too young for a particular procedure or operation, or if you are deemed worthy, you will go on a 6-24 month waiting list and may die while waiting. If you don't believe that, search out former Canadians who are now American citizens and ask them. You can also read Canadian newspapers.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  20. Peter M

    No, But Govt should have a role to play. It should be able to compete with private insurers to give all citizens an affordable option. Yes, Govt is not the enemy.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  21. vern-anaheim,ca

    the cost of healthcare in america is too high and something has to be done about it but involving the goverment i'm not sure about as most goverment run things turn out to be large "boon daugles"which i'm afraid a goverment run health care system would

    November 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  22. Kim in mpls

    Care be govt’s responsibility? It already is to our elderly.... that number within 10 years will be close to 80 Million, that is the number of "baby boomers".

    80 Million is a little over 25 percent of our population, so it might be in our country's best interest to look at healthcare very closely. How much does the average person require in care between age 65 and 85, the average life span? Hip replacement $39,299, knee replacement $35,000, heart bypass surgery $44,820, cataract surgery $3200 get my point. We need to keep healthcare costs down.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  23. Sue From Idaho

    It already is, you can't afford to pay in the emergency room, the county you live in pays in the form of your taxed income. If everyone had preventive care options many catastrophic illnesses could be headed off at the pass. What is the old saying, " an ounce of prevention"

    November 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Pam holt. Yes because of all the preservatives that they are allowing to be used in our foods, asbestes is still being usedand our air and water is being contaminated. People keep getting cancer, and don"t have any explanatios as to why. If only the republicans could understand this and give we the people this needed crumb, then we could all go back to taking their side, as most people are more in tune with them then the democrats. The republican party took their supporters for granted and were , and are still biting the hands that feed them. They had , and are continuing to have their hands slapped, because they keep fighting this healthcare reform. If they would wise up and let we the people win this battle, for once, then they would see a drastic change in how people are viewing them...

    November 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  25. Ricardo - Cypress, TX

    Hell no.
    The government's responsibility is to provide opportunity and the tools needed to it's people so they are able to achieve high-quality education, well-paid jobs, being able to support their family and be successful by their own means and determination. But I guess we are expecting too much from our politicians in Washington DC...

    November 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  26. John, Fort Collins, CO

    It is damn difficult to blame people for not getting excited about the current health care reform bill when no human alive fully understands what it really contains. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion no comprehensive bill of this magnitude can be drafted by Congress and their lobbyist cohorts. It would be a cheap date to offer a $100 million prize to the first university that could provide a workable, unbiased, detailed plan that would result in real health care reform for everyone in the country - all in fifty pages or less.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  27. Johnny C (Los Angeles)

    The government (or a committe of experts) can and should be involved in ensuring that the documentation and standards are the same across the country. Did you know that approximately 23% of health care costs are administrative? This can be radically reduced by forcing all Health Care providers to document the same way and streamline their operations.

    Additionally, they can level the playing field with respect to BIG PHARMA ... allow for international purchases. If they are worried about the quality entering the US ... implement quality control procedures for the inspection of incoming drugs. After all, aren't they concerned with the costs the citizens have to put out of their pockets or is it the lining of their own pockets with contribtions .... tough decision point I can see!

    As far as all of the other 2000 pages of ideas ... there are recycling centers to save the trees.

    Honestly, Senators and Congressman do not have the expertise in these waters ... get government out of the business ... they should not be formulating LAWS on specifics that they cannot honestly say that they are the experts at.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  28. Joy Bumgarner

    Anyone who thinks they want public insurance should just ask anyone on Medicare about it. Only about 1 in 50 doctors in my area will even accept a patient with Medicare. It is much less than that for Medicaid. It will only get worse with a public option for everyone. There won't be any doctors who will accept it. The one's who do are not the best doctors, they are the dishonest ones's who perpetrate fraud to manipulate the system to get paid enough. The reason the health care system needs reform is because of the government involvelment in it. The way to fix it is to take government out, not add more government control.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  29. Greg - Minneapolis

    Nothing in the Constitution mentions health care, much less as something that is the government's job to do. Now I realize that most members of Congress, and far too many network correspondants do not even know what is IN the Constitution. And yet they push for the government to take over health care in the United States despite the failure of ANY country in the world to adequately do this job. Government should stick to a minimum regulatory role when it comes to health care, and leave the rest to the private sector. If you want real reform in health care as it is practiced today, let's have tort reform to eliminate "frivolous" lawsuits, or expect doctors to be 100% perfect when we do not have that expectation of any other career.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  30. Bob Cross

    It's time for the American people to push the reset button. Do not elect ANY incumbent. Outlaw lobbyist. Outlaw campaign contributions (bribery) to $500 or less per person, and authorize line-item veto so that a president can prevent the pork-barrel spending (like Nancy's chartered jet).

    Bob Cross

    November 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  31. Kooky in CA

    Yes, we have it for those over 65 with Medicare and the reason many companies have gone overseas is because in countries with national health care, their operation costs go down 15 to 20 percent. If reform falls through, in a couple of years, when health costs are totally out of control and half the country doesn’t have insurance anymore, these morons will realize the extent of the lies they bought into by fear mongering. I go on Medicare in February and I’ll pay the $598.00 a month to have coverage until then. Without Medicare, Kaiser Permante would charge me over $1,000.00 a month for being 65. Yes, they do have a non-Medicare rate for those over 65 and it isn’t cheap.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  32. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Sure glad you are around Jack!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  33. Andrew Eden-Balfour- Regina, SK

    This health care reform bill is going to include the public option; which in lamens terms means that the government will be a health insurance company for the poor. Much much different from our country Canada's single-player universal health care which is paid through public taxes, which I love by the way. My answer is yes, your countries health care bill is close to being in shambles with the racking debt it is creating, and that more and more people are getting into serious debt or lost they're health insurance because of an unexpected illness. While I can understand that you american's don't want to pay higher taxes, but the public option will only increase the taxes just slightly, while with single-player, you can say that it would be pretty high.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  34. John Larson

    I don't suppose the phrase " Provide for the common good" means anything anymore in this era of greed.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  35. Darr/ Cleveland

    By all means and why not or is it a crime to be a healthy society with the government funding each individual's health care. France and England have it. Let's look at the data instead of listening to rhetoric.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  36. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Is health care a social agenda?

    I believe it is and government should have the responsibility for health care. Much like our taxes pay for defense, police and fire, unemployment, etc.

    Besides, the government is causing me to get so sick of this whole health care circus I want to hurl. So see, it is there responsibility.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  37. Greg

    Promoting health should be the government's responsibility, but they have done a terrible job at that. There are plenty of resources available that can help people lead healthy, active lifestyles, but instead the government is interested in making health care reform a political process. Why is the government not promoting online fitness tools like Holosfitness.com or charities like Clinton's Foundation that seeks to reduce childhood obesity? These are the initiatives that will truly reform America's health.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  38. nigel, ontario

    you pay taxes dont you.
    of course it should be,im canadian and proud my government takes care of us.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  39. Joe

    Health care should be the responsibility of the government just as fire and police protection, national defense, infrastructure, etc. are.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  40. S Boyle


    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  41. Mary Hoots

    Yes, Health Care should be Government's responsibility. I am in favor of Universal Health Care for all Americans. My husband is a primary care physician and he agrees with this.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  42. Kathryn

    It should be...if the U.S. wants to be competitive with the rest of the industrialized world, doesn't want health care costs to swamp the economy, and choses to actively encourage a healthy populace.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  43. Michael Curtsinger

    Only, Jack, in truly civilized countries.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  44. Catherine

    Why should Government be responsible for health care? Their too busy taking care of every other country in the world. Taking care of their own people, well that's just too much to ask for.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  45. Jeff from Cambridge, MA

    I think you just answered you own question with the latter one. If they can't keep track of the number of districts, how can they keep track of health care? Oh and on that cancer screening thing... do you see a move to rationed health care? I do!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  46. LC

    We're the only industrialized country in the world that does not consider health care to be a human right, and the only one that gives control to for-profit insurance companies.

    I guess Social Darwinism is something this so-called "Christian" country does believe in.

    It's shameful.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  47. Adrian Ramirez

    the government has the responsibility of protecting the people it represents. That includes health care. With all the corrupt insurance companies the government needs to make sure that every person will be covered no matter what

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  48. j

    wolf just said how many children went hungry this year, then you all turn around and say kids are obese. which is it. all the food the u.s. wastes there should be no excuse for someone going hungry. go to the grocery stores and gather up all the fruits, veggies, breads, even meat that they throw out. what a shame. give it to the people who are needy. easy fix.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  49. Dan

    Plain and simple. NO! The government should not be involved in anything other than national infrastructure and defense

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  50. Bre Mahaney

    Absolutely not! Open the state borders and let health insurance companies do what car insurance companies do: offer a range of plans & we can choose what we want & can afford. That will satisfy the lack of competition that the gov't seems to be so concerned about without getting the gov't involved!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  51. Fran

    The US desparately needs healthcare reform. The insurance companies have declined any improvements to coverage and increased rates beyond affordability, just to increase their bottom line and the linings of the CEO's pocketbooks. The government is the only resource we have that is big enough to correct the problem.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  52. Richard Punko

    Absolutely. I view it as a constitutional right.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  53. KrossF

    The government's main responsibility should be to maintain and/or better the standards of living in America.; whatever that may mean for the time. It is not to get into unjustified wars and not to give its opinions on every little world event.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  54. Josh Tabak

    If the governments job is not to take care of its citizens, what is its job?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  55. Andres

    I would say yes, if we compare the U.S with other developed countries like Switzerland and Germany, everything is cover by the Government, from school, university and your health coverage. I cant believe in such a powerful country like the U.S, we still have to pay for everything, having so many taxes here, there and everywhere!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  56. peter burris

    I take a hobbesian view - if I have to surrender my liberty to the state, the state owes me a bond of protection, and that includes my health and security. It's the social contract, pure and simple. The insurance companies have screwed us to the wall long enough

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  57. Vina Miller

    The government should be responsible for health care just as it is responsible for roads, post offices, medicare and the military. People are just starting to think only of their own pocketbooks, instead of what the country as a whole needs. The ads from big pharma doesn't help and makes people even more fearful. We're better than that.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  58. Hemmingplay

    I believe the government is the only institution in this system that can change a game that's rigged by big pharma and big insurance.

    Why does health care have to be based on a profit-making motive, after all? It is a question that needs to be asked, and the only way to get that question past all of the greed merchants - and merchants is the right word - is for the government to push it there. It's a question of balancing the power of the citizens against the power of the corporations.

    I don't believe government can actually run a big health plan efficiently, but it can play the role of arbiter and referee, and change laws to get the profit motive out of an area of human need where it has no moral place.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  59. Jack Beslanwitch

    Yes, the government should be involved. With fifty plus million people without health care and no way to afford it in many cases, myself included, health care reform cannot come too soon. With all the talk about not having mamograms or other tests to prevent diseases, if you cannot pay for these tests or the treatment of the cancer it says it all that we need some entity to get this system reformed. Why not the government!!!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  60. Jacque D (Oregon)

    The only reason that the government should be involved is because both the insurance companies and the healthcare industry have gotten so greedy and out of control monetarily speaking. If people, companies and even the financial orgs. had remained focused on the well being of ALL THE PEOPLE there would be not need for the government to get into it at all.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  61. Dave Pepin

    No, I do not believe it is the governments responsibility in face under the constitution, is the responsibility of the states.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  62. Annie, Atlanta

    Health insurance companies own our politicians, influencing votes. They have us up against the wall by the throat, forced to buy their junk products. The uninsured have to use hospital emergency rooms for routine medical care at taxpayers’ expense. Sixty percent of home foreclosures are the result of overwhelming medical costs. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why hasn’t this been dealt with already, is what I'd like to know? Our government apparently doesn't think too highly of it's citizens.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  63. John

    The question is a bit misleading. Of course one's health care per se is primarily an individual's responsibility. But the government certainly should be responsible to make certain that health insurance is available for all citizens so that we all can be responsible about our health care decisions.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  64. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    It should be until the government pays back the money they gave to Insurance company's and banks and then create jobs so the poor people can buy there own health care this problem was caused by the government and needs to be solved by the government our else we need a new government .

    November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  65. bill, athens, ga

    the question is flawed . while it's not the governments responsibility, it may very well be among the best uses of government.

    IF done properly.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  66. Elton Harris

    I don't believe that healhcare is the governments responsibility.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  67. Dan Leahy

    Maybe the poll numbers showing less support for government supported health care just might be due to the multi-million dollar ad campaign by the insurance industry (which is full of misinformation and outright lies) that has run on CNN 24/7 for months. There's a reason they spend so much money on their propaganda....it works.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  68. gary duncan

    The Constitution says the government should "promote the general welfare"- to me it's a no brainer, a healthy people are a productive people and not a drain on society. Accordingly, like the commercial says, "you can pay me now or pay be later?- and the cost later is much higher.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  69. ted h. from sacramento

    Should health care be the governments responsibility? I don't know Jack, do we want to continue to watch Insurance companies weigh people's "economic viability" or should we just settle with another government system that will almost certainly be broken upon its creation?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  70. LaVonne

    Yes! If you don't have money our country will LET YOU DIE. Not everyone can afford the health insurance that can help them. Especially seniors.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  71. ronald salyers

    mr.cafferty, enjoy your program and your witty sayings. the goverment should never have any thing to do with health insurance.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  72. Denver McGuire

    Definitely not. The government should protect our right to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" and otherwise stay out of our lives.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  73. C. N.

    No, I don't believe health care is the government's responsibility. Aren't we already $12 trillion in debt now?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  74. Gigi Oregon

    I think they have already taken control. They have proven that corporate business comes first. And who has the medical corporate world filling their pocket...

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  75. Brian Williams


    The answer is yes–at least in the sense of extending health insurance coverage. The present anarchic, every-man-for-himself situation, with insurance companies in the driver's seat, is precisely why so many American die every year who, in most other developed countries, wouldn't have to.

    Brian Williams
    Genoa, Nevada

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  76. Robert

    Yes! The Government is suppose to be "by the people for the people", which is more than can be said about the insurance companies.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  77. scott

    Yes it should be the govt's responsibility, why because we've left "care" up to insurance companies decide what we need and what we don't and we are all getting fat,more chronic illness, and dying because no preventivtive care was provided, at least the feds can look out for the weak,sick, and elderly and everyone else. Lets look beyond the "bill" the wars given us and spend it on something that helps!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  78. Yvonne

    Healthycare. Delay it???? It has been waiting to happen for over 40 years. For those against it, are they or their parents using Medicare? If so, perhaps if they are against this new healthcare, they should give up Medicare and use their own insurance. Try it. There are cheap insurances out there, but what do they cover? You better be careful.

    If you are afraid of "government control" (a term used constantly by Republicans), give up your Social Security. Give up Medicaid.

    Those against this bill, you better think of others rather than just yourselves.


    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  79. June Seminole Fl

    and the alternative is.....
    insurance companies who build towers to themselves.
    charities who build churches but dont do charity work
    businesses who are strapped for money themselves
    individuals who can no longer afford heath care
    Better question...who are these "people" who don't want universal health care for all & what is their average income ?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  80. Lee from California

    Yes, I do think its our government's responsibility to all citizens to provide the ability to have good healthcare at a reasonable price.
    We cannot afford to have illness run rampant through our country when so many millions are not able to get care–ever heard of a plague?
    The main issue in Congress appears to be the cost of universal healthcare–since we (taxpayers) fund our country–why dont' WE vote to either pay for continual wars and deaths of our family members(who had a vote on that?) or pay for genertional universal healthcare for our families, children and their families?–Could we do anything better for the future? The vote would truly be "by the people, of the people and for the people". Let's vote and eliminate lobbyists and big business donors from the process.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  81. joe m

    it was suppose to be the government's responsibility to have enough vaccines for H1N1 and look how they've handled that. if healthcare becomes this government's responsibilty then god help all of us, especially with the track record it has. help us not get shafted by the insurance companies by making it tougher for them drop coverage, cherry pick, or suddenly hike up their rates. if the government can do this then it would be a whole lot more than the 2000+ page bill they want to pass, that now appears to be more beneficial to the insurance companies and other special interest groups than the average american.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  82. M Curtsinger

    If you look at the macroeconomic picture, universal healthcare only makes sense. Whether we recognize it or not, the people that are currently not covered are a continuing burden.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  83. Peter Remondino - Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack – I think the more important and correct question is whether or not health coverage and insurance is a good model for capitalism. We know the current private, for-profit system is not working. Whether administered by the government or the private sector, I believe the "for-profit" model surrounding peoples health and lives is wrong.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  84. Laura

    Such lunacy! The government has no Constitutional responsibility or right to get involved in health care. Where has it gotten such authority?I just can't believe that it has gotten this far. What has happened to sound and reasonable thinking in this Congress? These lawmakers are way out of control.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  85. Chris, NY

    Health care should be a concern of the government........ Plainly our American government, for better or worse, is a reflection of it's people....... How can our government, see a huge dilema in health care, and not attempt to solve it?
    If we actually had a single payer system, where gov. pays for all citizens medical insurance, think about how much more saving/spending money we would have in our checks.......
    Government is not the end all be all. Government does not create wealth.......However, it is the governments job (especially the USA gov.) to protect the country, and downsize, or eradicate social ills, and create an environment for optimal growth, wealth, and health......
    As w/ civil rights, womens' rights, voters rights, medicare, social security, and other big bad spooky progressive legislation (like a conservative would say).

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  86. Christian

    For those who have no hope or means of obtaining health care, the government should take responsibility for it's less fortunate citizens and help them out. However, for those that are well enough off on their own, the government should just leave them alone.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  87. Joe

    Well Jack, I think the question is whether or not the private sector can provide affordable, reliable health care. It seems to me like they can't, as is made obvious by the fact that in some states certain insurers have monopolies or oligopolies on the market, causing consumers to have limited, over-priced, and insufficient insurance options. Maybe it's a matter of anti-trust legislation, as to break apart monopolizing providers and therefore force the smaller companies to compete. But maybe those smaller companies will, in time, merge and dominate the market again. So can the private sector do the job right? It doesn't seem possible.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  88. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    As theoretical "Leaders of the Free World," and the ABSOLUTE LAST of those industrialized nations NOT to have a National Health Care System, the question seems almost immoral.
    America is at it's best when Americans are treated as equals. I'm not saying everyone should have face lifts or tummy tucks, but basic preventative medicine for all, like the rest of the industrialized world seems like a good thing to me, but then I don't own health insurance stocks.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  89. Lew

    No, they should not. I can't seem to find reference to it in the Constitution, nor can I think of anything they do get involved with that turns out well.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  90. Jean

    Yes. It needs to regulate the insurance industry and the health care reform bill is the way to do it.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  91. C.J. Lambert

    Yes, our government certainly has a role to play in seeing that health insurance and ultimately health care is available to ALL Americans. I'd like all those who are currently on Medicare to imagine what their lives would be like without that government health care system. Why should we as a nation ensure that our elderly and chronically ill are insured while leaving our young and poor to fen for themselves? The government can and should use the leverage and economies of scale to see that health care is available and affordable for ALL.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  92. Lawrence

    It should be the governments responsibility to insure that all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. The reasons for the shift in the polls you refer to are not unknown, though. They are the direct result of the lies and distortions that have been propagated by those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. These ads can even be seen on CNN. It's disgusting, and a real disservice to every American, especially those of us who are uninsured.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  93. Boyd, Reedsburg, WI

    Health care has such enormous potential costs for the average American that we need someone with a huge financial base to back it when its needed. So far, we've relied on commercial interests to do this, but with a for-profit motive, it's gotten way out of control, as they've driven costs up and deny more and more people every day. We simply cannot afford health care, and their profits, too. We really have no choice but to have our government do it. Other countries, with less money to waste, and more compassion to spend than us, have already come to this inevitable conclusion.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  94. Mary Eubank

    Yes, the government should be responsible for health care. The phrase "the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is useless if you can't get health care. My grown children work hard at their jobs and do not get insurance. My daughter tried with Blue Cross Blue Shield but they denied her for the preexisting condition of migraines.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  95. Joan Jackson

    I don't want the government running the health care. They are trying to ram too much down our throats at once. Everything is a crisis to Obama's bunch. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. They are too inept to run anything. They rush into everything with blinders on and hope it will come out ok.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  96. Chad from Los Angeles

    YES. Single payer systems in Europe cover everyone and they have higher life expectancies as well. Can't get any simpler evidence than that.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  97. Jody brewster

    The goverment protects your life everday already, why not at least help provide a quality of life? Oh ya that's socialism...riiight

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  98. Lynn

    The question should be Why is this country one of the very few industrialized nations which does not provide health care for its citizens?

    For American businesses to have to pay for employee insurance puts them and all of us at a tremendous disadvantage in the global market. This is not a smart strategy for US capitalism.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  99. honestjohn in Vermont

    Of course. Healthcare costs continue to escalate year after year. Out healthcare system needs more than "reform"–it needs to be rebuilt from top to bottom.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  100. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    when you look at the amount of debt and know that this amount has not happened over night – has not happened in the last year – it took decades; then we all know America has been living beyond its means which means in looking back it is clear Americans have not been able to manage to save any money, increase their salary and America never had the money to go to war even if big business makes a lot of money out of wars and America let the private healthcare sector take over the small amount of money left in people's pocket to the point of putting the american people in the street! Look at other nations about healthcare and America needs to at least reach some middle views to reduce how much Americans spend on their healthcare and actually getting healthier...you've got to be healthy to pay down your debt!!!
    Take care!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  101. Tom Crawford

    Yes. We have a health care system that lacks real quality controls. It is completely based on a model of greed. And, the health of our population is a matter of national security – imagine sending millions of McDonald's raised kids to defend our country.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  102. Chris

    Let me answer your question with another, should the government be responsible for the police or fire departments or would you rather the private sector be responsible for our public safety?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  103. Mack, McKinney, Texas

    Jack members of this congress can not even cross their legs without an amendment. They are the most indecisive bunch of people that walked the earth. The democrats have a majority in both houses yet they can not pass a bill they are all behind. That tells me they have no business trying to implement something that they can not comprehend mush less govern.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  104. Ingrid, brooklyn

    jack add these questions to yours: should the government be responsible for education (elementary through universities), should the government be responsible for making sure that our elders have a living wage (social security), should the govt be responsible for veterans (VA, GI bill, etc.)? i am a dyed in the wool democrat and say of course the govt. should be responsible, if in no other way than to seriously regulate the industry because of the life or death nature of their services. people who say that the govt should not be responsible should think carefully about all the other things govt. is responsible for and things they adn their families receive from the govt. i do not see anyone marching trying to close down universities, public schools, medicare, unemployment, etc.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  105. df

    Current trends dictate that the government must take steps to assure access to affordable health insurance coverage to low-income working people. Every year, the number of employers offering a health insurance benefit to their employees declines because of cost. Every year, the number or employees declining employer sponsored health insurance coverage increases because of cost. Low-income working people are confronted by a very hostile individual insurance market in our country. If you are healthy you can get insurance. If not, you can't afford insurance coverage.

    Yes Jack, the government must take steps to rationalize the health insurance makretplace.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  106. Matthew from Orange,CA

    Why are there people in this government who feel the need to deny us Life, restrict our Liberty, and impede our Pursuit of Happiness?

    We pay taxes so our cities have nice pretty parks for a small percentage of us to play in three Saturdays out of the year, why can't tax money be spent insuring we don't die or suffer pain? Why is there NO moral obligation in this so-called 'Christian-Based' government to keep people healthy so that they can fulfill the promise of the Declaration.

    Hey Boehner, what would Jesus do?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  107. Jim Krentzel

    Just like police protection, fire protection and education...decent, basic health care is a vital service that every citizen of this country should enjoy. It is not a priviledge....it's a right, and our governement has a moral obligation to provide health care for every citizen.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  108. joe curry

    It is the gov'ts resposibility to protect us agaist thieves and indifferance
    in other words- health care insurers

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  109. Roy Black

    The recent pole you mention indicates the GMA report this morning that business opponents of health care reform outspend supporters 2 to 1 and their negative ads work quite well. Be afraid, be very, very afraid. If America is the greatest country in the world, then why can't all Americans have better and affordable health care like other countries? Or is that just more rhetoric.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  110. Nelson

    Yes. The constitution was created to, among other things, promote the general welfare of the United States. The constitution gives congress the power to pass laws to promote that general welfare. The so-called "free market" has failed miserably with regard to the health component of the country's general welfare. It is time for the government to play a much larger role.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  111. Pat Arman

    Yes, the government needs to be involved. 36 million Americans have nothing because the insurance companies ignore them or make the premiums so high that the working poor cannot afford insurance. If I am able to have health insurance, so should every American.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  112. Greg Ptacek

    No one is favor of more government expenditures including on health care. But what's the alternative? Let the insurance companies continue to gamble and profit from the lives of Americans? Besides, the government already is responsible for Americans' health care, that is for all those who are 65 years or older. It's called Medicare and I've never heard of anyone refusing to accept its benefits.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  113. nadie

    The government consists of representatives elected to represent the people, saying that they should not be responsible for healthcare problems is like saying they should not be responsible to the people who elect them.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  114. Karl Vancouver, Canada

    Well, let's see. Is government responsible for defending our country against armed aggression, against internal aggression, against crime, and against the effects of natural disaster? How much more responsible should the government be for helping defend us against the attacks of disease and injury? (And yes, of course, we're responsible for for our own health too, just as we're responsible to lock our doors at night.) Only in America could we be debating the answer to such an obvious and stupid question.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  115. tj Tampa

    Jack whos left. I would rather get screwed over by the government Democrats who's trying to cover everybody, than the Insurance Cartel who is literally screwing everybody. We are 1st in cost and 37th in service. Any bookie knows those odds are stacked in favor of the Insurace Cartel who has been left to self regulate for over 100 years and look what we got ot didnt get. Glad you had that routine test Jack we need you. But, what about those who aren't as fortunate as you.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  116. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, my health care is my responsibility, and the same is true of all of us. The problem is that the health care industry has gotten so greedy. I can't do anything by myself. You and I can't do anything together. But when the majority of the citizens want something done it becomes the responsibility of the federal government. If we aren't satisfied with what they are proposing we have to let them know, but not to the extent that we throw the baby out with the bath water.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  117. Jim

    As the only developed country in the world to not provide health care for its people, we are barbarians. We masks indifference to human life under the guise of "self reliance" and while denying that we are our neighbors' keeper consider ourselves a Christi\an nation. Can any one spell "hypocrite?"

    November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  118. Gerry Martin

    No, I don't believe that the federal or any level of government should be responsible for individual citizens' health care. That thought frightens me because we currently see so much incompetence in the ranks of government workers. However, they don't have the market cornered there, do they?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  119. Carl Davis

    NO NO NO The Mamo news of today is a leadin for Gov control of health care costs " cut out tests'

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  120. Michael Marcus

    It's right there in the Preamble of our Constitution: "... provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare..." In a world that has bioterrorism, health care is clearly part of the common defence. It's also clearly part of our general welfare as human beings. Since we can't rely on fair treatment by the private sector, this clearly must be taken on by the government.

    It should be noted that "insurance" as it currently exists provides a disastrous approach in general, as it takes health care and provides a "casino-style" solution by offering the consumer a bet that they will need health care and ensuring that the payout is not commensurate to the initial bet–that is, the odds are set heavily in favor of the house in order to ensure profit. The whole mode of providing health care needs to be entirely rethought.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  121. Garth, Florida

    Look, I am of the firm opinion that it is the responsibity of the government, any goernment, to provide shelter, education and affordable health care. If this makes me socialist, so may be it. It is unthinable that any government, should just ignore the health plight of its citizens who cannot afford healthcare. Isn't this inhumane in a country that tries to pride itself on the recognition of human rights. I don't really support government's involvement in the health of those who can afford to pay for this. But, unless government steps in and act directly, poorer Americans, will continue to suffer and die because they cannot afford health care. This doesn't seem part of an American Dream.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  122. Carl Freytag

    This present administration's complete incompetence in its attempts to intrude into our daily lives is the best evidence to put this administration out of business. Healthcare is not a governmental function. In fact, we should abandon both medicare and medicaid. This administration's socialistic welfare endeavors are quickly destroying our republic and our freedoms. Wake up America!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  123. Chas/ Ky.

    Yes....Health care should be guaranteed to everyone!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  124. Marcia Torrey-Jay

    Government should see to it that everybody has access to health care, including our large population of so-called "illegals." One person's health effects others. For example, if some don't receive a vaccine, those who come in contact with them are at a higher risk for that disease. Also, we all pay for using the emergency room for minor health problems that could be handled better in a doctor's office. Finally from a purely humanitarian point of view, It is just the right thing to do.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  125. gerald

    Yes.It is obvious that capitalism cannot manage the nation's general welfare.As an ex-RN I saw what was going on.This is not rocket science.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  126. thomas jennings

    NO, the government should not participate at the operational level of health care. They should set the standards, goals, even set the standards for sharing/automating patient records but not actually performing the task. Keep them out, I don't consider Medicare an outstanding success when it comes to cost containment. All they know how to do is act like Walmart and set, perhaps unrealistic, reimbursement levels. Keep them out.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  127. Vic, Indiana

    Why doesn't CNN have a debate between Mitch McConnell and, let's say Vice President Biden, on Government Health Care? They would be allowed 2 others on each side to help with the honest answers, not the BS being put out by the corporations. Then the American people could see what it's really about..... then ask the same question again.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  128. Chuck


    How will the government ever find the time for health care? They're too busy having hearings about the BCS bowl game selections and equally weighty matters. At least the Supreme Court decided to let Washington decide their football team's name on their own.

    Deep in the heart of Texas

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  129. Moonyeen Albrecht

    Absolutely! I very strongly believe that the health of the people of our nation IS MOST DEFINITELY the responsibility of the government. I only hope some day we will have universal health care. Maybe then our mortality rate especially the infant mortality rate will not be so low in comparison to other countries.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  130. Joe Michigan

    If you have a love one die because of lack of insurance, then the answer to this question is very easy. I had a love one die that I believe was somewhat insurance related. He either didn't have insurance or didn't know where to go for help. Or if you lose your job, and can't afford health insurance, I bet the answer to this question is very easy.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  131. steve, Texas

    No.. My primary doctor detected a possible prostate issue with me on September 25, 2009. On September 26th a Eurologist confirmed my primary doctor concerns and on October 5th I had a biopsy which confirmed that I had prostate cancer. Surgery is scheduled for November 24, 2009. I would have had it done sooner but they will not operate any sooner then six weeks after the biopsy. If anyone in any other country with social medicine can beat that time frame I will vote for health care reform.

    By the way Jack, I am 53 years old. Only 10% are diagnoised with prostate cancer at my age.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  132. Nick, New Boston, NH

    The Declaration of Independence states that we all have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Over 40000 people die in this country each year because they can't afford health insurance. Seems to me that those Americans are being deprived of two of those three rights.

    And the Constitution tasks the government to "promote the general welfare" of Americans. Doesn't that include health care?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  133. Becky Egan

    Yes, Yes, Yes! If health care is not a government responsibility, then ultimately only the wealthy will receive health care. I am very fortunate to have been the recipient of U.S. government health care all of my life - first as a military dependent, then as a military service member, and now as a veteran. If not for this excellent and affordable government care, I would now be dead or broke. The free enterprise system may work fine for consumer goods, but profit should not be made on anyone's illness. Only a government health care system can provide health care for ALL U.S. citizens.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  134. judy Best

    Well, gee whiz Jack, since every other industrialized nation that has universal health care run by their government pays less per person per year than the U.S., I think the answer is staring you right in the face. And by the way, our breast screening programs in Canada are determined between doctor and patient...and are all paid for by the government. i guess that's because our government trusts our doctors to know how to save and prolong lives!!
    Peterborough, Canada

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  135. Marty

    If its not the governments responsibility to provide health care, then maybe they should stop sending out medicare and social security checks to. I think there are a lot of brain washed people out there Jack.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  136. bhavin

    I think it should be a responsibility of the gov. to regulate the insurance industry. They think they can just charge as much as they want since there is no one to say anything. Me ans my wife got health insurance thru BlueCross BlueShield, within 4 months my premium went up by 25% even thought we had not a single claim filed. The insurance industry is not the only one that needs regulation. The medical expenses in our country is the highest in the world, but when compared to the services received for the price they fall way short. Hospitals charge 28K dollars for using their room for 7 hours, and they reason why they charge that is because they know the insurance company will pay. And the insurance company does not mind paying cause they know that they will just get it back from increasing the premium and pass the costs to the consumers. I would have had my parents fly to India stay in a 5 Star hotel for recovery for a month and get the Cardiac Cat test he needed and get it done for below 5k dollars. Which for the same services he is receiving a bill for from a hospital in USA for about 37K. So now I ask you the question, If someone didnt have health insurance how are they to afford it, and keeping that in mind Ask yourself the question " Does the government need to regulated the insurance company?"

    Bhavin Bhalodia

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  137. Roger Haney

    It's a case the haves vs. the have nots. If you already have Health Insurance you don't care about those that don't. Of course the Government should be involved in Healthcare. Who else can do it?.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  138. Brian J. Muegge from Scottsdale, AZ

    Any & ALL choices regarding MY healthcare is my responsibility, not the Governments. I'll bet the politician's will keep the healthcare insurance they have now rather than participate in the %*#@! they're trying to shove down our throats!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  139. George G


    I am a Canadian and I thank God we have universal health care. It is not perfect but neither am I, you or anything else. However, I am appalled at the stupidity of the Majority of middle class and poorer class Americans who believe the bullshit put out by the Big Pharma companies.

    Do Americans not realize how they are being raped by these morons who have no interest in making people better. They are only interested in marketing drugs which you have to keep taking not one which makes you better.

    One other thing that Americans seem to be completely ignorant about is this. Obama's proposed Health scheme is NOT a Government run plan. It is an alternative for those who do not have a suitable plan. How stupid can you get. Read the damn plan don't listen to what some crooked companies are telling you so that they can keep screwing you.

    An Appalled neighbor from up North.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  140. Ron S

    Yes, health care should be the governments responsbility. It should not have become the big business that it is today. All deserve health care and getting health care should not depend on your ability to pay!!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  141. Rabbi Morris Bernstein

    Health care is absolutely the government's concern. Experience shows that the American people won't find justice with the health care industry whether we have insurance or not! What is the government for except to do for the people what they can't do for themselves?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  142. Anu

    Of course it is the government's responsibility! How can anyone suggest otherwise? What will they say next – childrens' education isn't the govt.'s responsibility? Or protecting our borders isn't the govt.'s responsibility? I think a nation's health is its wealth (as corny as that may sound). The Europeans have got it right as far as healthcare goes – the Asians have it right as far as education goes. Let's not reinvent the wheel – lets borrow some of those good ideas and stop this silliness!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  143. Priscilla Dickson

    Health Care government's resonsibiltiy?? Absolutely not, unless we want more gov't programs to chalk up billions if not trillions more in waste caused by mismanagement, graft and political corruption which is the legacy of ALL government programs.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  144. Louis A. Carliner

    What is not being reported adequately is the substantial hidden costs of not having universal health-care. A primary reason that Medicare is so costly is that by the time the early retirees 50 and older or those uninsured, which is the majority, chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, clogged arteries due to high cholesterol, and type type 2 diabetes, for which early and aggressive management would be far less costly, has been allowed to deteriorate into very costly conditions by the time the persons have reached Medicare eligibility, such as kidney dialysis, amputations, and Medicaid funded nursing home care because of preventable strokes!

    To all of those that claim to be satisfied with their current employer-based insurance, how of these ever had to use the insurance for coverage of very serious conditions? I bet that the numbers would be quite different!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  145. Tommy Thompson


    It already is. We all pay higher taxes and premiums to cover the uninsured. Why don't people see this. Forget the partisan arguments. The Federal Government is already in the business of supporting hospitals and doctors who can't get money from anyone without assets to seize
    Tommy T.
    South Jersey

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  146. Melvin

    Considering the government is all ready in charge over issues like our education, our safety, dictate what we can and cannot consume,and even our mail. Whats wrong with making the government responsible over our health care considering the many government agencies already responsible in every aspect of our health care as it is?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  147. Sean

    health care most definitely should be the responsibility of the government
    America has always worked in a private/public partnership with so many industries and has found that usually the private industry can provide goods and services more efficiently then the government can, but when the private sector can't provide a good or service at a reasonable or competitive rate, the government may an interest. responsibility, or even duty to at least try to provide a cheaper alternative

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  148. Bob G in AZ

    I think the republicans would love to not pay for government provided health care. But then the IRAQ war was being paid for by our tax dollars and our kids so whats the difference. Oh thats right "we may get somthing out of it." Our tax dollars are being spent on everything else why not include somthing we would get a direct benefit off of. As for all this negativity about the issue. I wish there was as much controversy about every decision that was crammed down our throat's for the last 8 years. I think we need term limits for the house and senate right along with the healthcare vote on 8 years.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  149. Ray

    We are fooling ourselves if we believe that the government is not involved now. The medicare and supplemental insurance is providing adequate service to seniors and disabled now and it works. We need to clean up the billing process or the cheating that seems to go on regardless. Polls only show the split in those already having insurance and those that do not or have trouble meeting the copays from insurance that may be provided but does not meet the needs of those with limited or low paying jobs. There is a problem and most know it; so what is the problem with seeking a resolution? We need more moderates and those willing to sit down and meet the problem headon. Those of you that say what is offered does not work -step to the table and show your plan that "works" --they can not since it needs to be tried and supported before you "know" what works.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  150. tracy

    Our premiums, deductibles and co-pays have skyrocketed – and we are the "lucky" ones with employer sponsored coverage. Small business owners have seen their premiums increase anywhere from 25 – 30% in the last year. Our school district is now being forced to make substantial cuts because teachers' health insurance costs have increased 40% and expected to do the same next year. You bet we need some government intervention. But, not what is proposed. The 20% of every private health care dollar (vs 3-5% for Medicare) could go a long way toward shoring up our system. Why tie insurance to employment crippling our businesses? Why force people to buy for-profit insurance? Why not let everyone buy into medicare? Let them pay a little more than the cost to help shore up the system. It would still be cheaper than private. In the meantime, we can work on changing delivery models to bring overall costs down. I do not fear the government – my mother is very well-cared for right now. Is health care less of a basic public right than education? Individuals could still purchase supplemental policies if they choose.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  151. Barry

    Another way of asking that question: can we count on the private sector to serve our healthcare needs without government intervention? The answer is quite obviously "no". The role of government is to take responsibility in vital national matters that can not addressed by other means. The private sector had decades to address our healthcare problems and, despite warnings that this day would come, failed.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  152. EugeneWiese

    Health care should definitly be the Federal Govt.'s responsibilityThis just goes to prove that people do not know what's good for them.Health care for all is the best way to prevent spread of infection and disease and prevent epidemics,and agood way to prolong life.I believe in Life after birth. I've wondered how many Pro-Lifers believe in Universal Health Care Vs. Pro-Choise? Gene

    November 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  153. Ron from Oklahoma

    The Government should not be the SOLE provider of health insurance – at this time. The public has not been hit hard enough for the costs – yet. It should, however, provide a choice for minimal care with optional supplemental policies available at extra cost – much like Medicare. In 10 or 15 years, when costs become unbearable for the average American, I'll bet that 80% of us will be screaming for a government Universal Provider. But, it may just be too late then.


    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  154. Ricky from Longwood, Florida

    Yes, I think to some extent healthcare should be the government's responsibility, especially if individuals who have paid taxes their entire lives suddenly lose coverage. Most states have mandatory auto insurance and nobody complains about that. Is it safer to ensure an irresponsible 16 year old driver than a 45 year old who happens to suffer from a pre-existing condition? I don’t think so. The 45 year old will now be able to afford his/her medication while the 16 year old will still speed and run red lights.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  155. AmericanVoter

    Yes, the government has a responsibility to provide affordable health care alternatives for its citizens. Just as the government's actions impact the very economy that has contributed to our skyrocketing medical costs, its actions should provide solutions to the resulting health care crisis. Equal access to quality, affordable health care for every American citizen will serve to create a healthier nation and ultimately a healthier economy.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  156. Adalbert

    Healt care is our responsibility. In today's global economy, we can no longer compete when our HC cost is three times more expensive. Thanks to the insurance cartels.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  157. anita helms

    I worked for a doctor that stopped taking Medicaid patients because of the poor payment he received. Medicare is not much better. God helps us if we ever get Obamacare!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  158. Roger

    NO, it should be purchased like car insurance unattached to employers. If we could get it like Homeowners and car insurance, along with life insurance, it would be portable without having to searched for a job that supplies it.

    Hospitals and Doctors though, should be able to turn away illegal immigrants becuase the bottom line is people become Doctoors to be paid for their service. Can you immagine going to a mechanic or a Lawyer and expect free service because you are and illegal immigrant and cannot afford it? It costs big money to operate a hospital and to expect them to do it for free. Even breaking even would not be fair with the money it costs to be a doctor and operate a hospital.

    PS – Lou Dobbs for President 2012, Liz Cheney VP

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  159. Bill Elliott

    NO NO NO The Gov. Can't be the one to say that your Illness cost to much. Because who do you go to to complain.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  160. JimTx

    The US ranks 27th in health care for its citizens. The US is first in military power. The government can do the same for healh care as they do for the military. Obviously, private insurers can't.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  161. Michael

    It's one of the few things of which the government should definitely be responsible. It's right up there with infrastructure and national defense. For the government of the wealthiest country on the planet to allow any one of it's citizens to fall into financial and physical ruin is an obscene embarrassment. Every other civilized country in the world correctly believes it is in everyones best interest to have an healthy population. But here, you take a back seat to a green god named "dollar."

    November 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  162. Claire, Melbourne

    Hello Jack,

    Unless the Govt controls the cost of health care no one will be able to afford it. Look at drug costs... they have gone up at least 4 fold since the Republicans jammed thru Rx coverage with no cost controls. My sons drugs have gone up from $3000 to $4000 yearly before drug coverage to well over $15,000 yearly now. This is absolutely unsustainable. Without the drugs – he dies.

    When Republicans come up with a good idea that will help the average American then they can have a place at the table. I'm sick to death of all these lies they are spewing. People are dying every day for lack of health care, and they don't care as long as they make political points!


    November 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  163. Philip A. (Atlanta, Ga)

    Jack, a healthy Nation is a wealthy nation. A sound and quality Healthcare promotes productivity and is equally a part of national security. Is national security the government's responsibilty jack?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  164. Sharon

    It should be the government's responsibility because the insurance companies are treating health care as a business.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  165. Chris in West Virginia

    Yes, government should be involved in health care as far paying for a single payer system that would cover all Americans. It would be more efficient than the private health care mess we have now or the confusing mish-mash we are about to get. The medicaid program works relatively well and there is no reason not to cover all citizens. The government also plays an important role in research, regulation and providing information to help us make better choices. How do we pay for this? Let's start by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we don't belong and invest that money at home to benefit us for a change.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  166. Don Dunn Mt. angel, Oregon

    The Preamble to the Constitutuon: ". . . promote the general welfare . . ." Enough said.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  167. Chuck Jennings

    Jack, we already have government managed healthcare, and I would like it if we all could have what the government enjoys. Jack Cafferty, I want to thank you for your honesty, we need many more good folks like you in our congress, many of our problems would not be with us now if we had folks like you running this country. CJ

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  168. Chad from Los Angeles

    Yes, when companies started making extraordinary profits on people getting sick. It created a real conflict of interest problem. We, as a country have become so greedy, we put the almighty dollar ahead of taking care of the less fortunate, the elderly, and the veterans.

    Goverment run healthcare is the only realistic option, without taxing the wealthy more.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  169. lou

    I think you hit the million dollar question, Jack. Our medical industry is a for profit one. We'll never reform the system as long as there is a dollar to be made when some one gets sick. Its time to ask ourselves as a nation, what we want. I, for one, want everyone to be able to get treated when they're sick. Nationalize the whole sha-bang.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  170. Jetty

    No Public Option, No Mandatory for all people to have health insurance coverage.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  171. Nancy

    Government has the responsibility to stand up for the poor and disabled who can not do it for themselves. It is obvious that the private sector has ignored this group by creating so many part time jobs that don't offer healthcare to the people who are doing the daily grind.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  172. Elva horner, Canada

    Health Care is the most important BASIC RIGHT that all citizens should expect from their government! Have you ever checked out what rights other countries give their people, like Australia, France and countries like Oman in the Middle East? As the richest country in the world, shouldn't the U.S. do at least as much, and actually improve health care, MUCH MORE???

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  173. gary

    yes the government must take on the responsibility to provide quality heath care to all citizens of our great country!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  174. Chryssa

    Like it or not, health care is already the responsibility of our government, and it has been for generations. Considering all the taxpayer money we are forced to spend to care for the uninsured each year, it's only fair to let our government fix the system so it's more efficient and less expensive for all of us.

    Boise, ID

    November 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  175. mark cansler

    No the actual healthcare should not be the governments responsibility but a fair non profit method of healthcare should be.
    since when is the profits of corporations; be it insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations or corporate hospitals the priority of our government. we need to make healthcare a basic non profit identity and be it public option or regualtions unless there is a change – none of us will have healthcare in the end.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  176. Larry Merrick

    The question should be "should the people be responsible for health care". Yes we should.
    In our nation, the voice of the people is manifested in goverement. The people have every right to have their voice heard. We should be able to replace the word government with the word people in any statment about the government without changing any meaning. We the people (government) must accept responsibility for the health care problem, otherwise the drug and insurance companies will continue to hold us ransom for our health.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  177. Diana/Flint

    First of all....when we talk about the Government, the Government is "us" the people of American...its not some alien nation out there. We elect individuals who we believe have our best interest at heart. Therefore trust has to be the question....do you trust the indivduals you elect? So..... I say look at the big picture what's for the greater good. Yes "our" government should be there to help those who can't help themselves..... in health care, food, housing, federal restrictions, etc.....We are our Brothers Keeper.
    Stop being selfish and self-centered America!!!!!!!


    November 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  178. Alex V

    We should make our government more responsible over our health care. There are countless government agencies already in charge over our health care, that act as quality control. The government should take responsibility when one of those many agencies make mistakes that cause ordinary American's to get sick and require medical treatment.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  179. Alan (Milwaukee)

    Ideally health care wouldn't be the government's responsibility, but what other choice is there? They've given insurance companies industry carte blanche to cover only the people they choose and charge way overinflated costs for the privilege of having our clains denied. If the government really wants out of the health care business, all they have to do is regulate in a way that looks after the best interests of the consumer and not the industry.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  180. steve

    I'd would love to say NO, but who's going to keep the insurance companies honest? My rates keep going up and the CEO of my insurer has made $750 Million the last 8 years. Are you kidding me! How about removing all the insurance companies freedom from antitrust laws first and see what happens? The threat of that should put even more money in the Repubilcans pockets. Lord knows they are making a lot now to fight healthcare reform.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  181. Ed Lexington, KY

    Well Jack, I can tell you I'd rather have the government responsible for my health care then the insurance companies. We have all seen how well they have done. I've been on Medicare now for a couple of years, and they beat hands down, the Blue Cross I had for 30 years.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  182. Vicki Price

    If we do not change our health care delivery it will soon consume 20% of our GDP not allowing us to compete with other nations. Cost continue to sky rocket, just look at the rise in drugs this week. We have no choice we will either conquer this "health care beast" or we will be consumed by it.

    Vicki Price
    Lansing, IA

    November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  183. Bruce - Delaware

    Absolutely. Private health care has proven greedy beyond belief – time to take it away.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  184. Yvonne

    Healthcare. Those that say "Government Control" and the Government cannot do it right.

    Oh, I guess the Private industries have gotten it right????? They have had record profits.

    I suppose all the other countries that have socialized healthcare are worse off than the United States? Well, a few years ago I heard we were something like 40 on the list of good healthcare.


    November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  185. EDDA

    if not government – who else
    We certainly cannot leave it to the for profit (and often excess profit) private insurance companies. There is no public oversight – ever – nor input – they will treat the patient as their costly enemy.
    Perhaps a strictly NON-PROFIT company – but that would have to be overseen and monitored and regulated by government anyway.

    Sometimes a government – depends who is the President and the majority party – can be trusted – but most of the time not.
    As we saw with Bush – they PROTECTED big business – and now since the enconomy collapsed – they are holding "tea parties" –
    Well, they are the ones voting for the idiotic invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan – and I wish ONLY those to have supported Bush and his lying cronies – should now PAY for it.

    President Obama is the smartest and most caring president this country has seen since Clinton and FDR – and I trust him to do whatever is humanly possible to save- create jobs.

    I have a suggestion- mainly to businesses – offer –
    instead of laying off valuable employees –
    to cut (for example) 10% of workforce – to be done voluntarily –
    and let the media extoll their virtues as an example.

    How about a program like FDR's CCC !!
    Since especially the youth is hurting for discipline – and jobs.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  186. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The government is nothing but a bunch of yellow belly porkem up pigs stuffing there pockets full of the moneys that was ment to make our country healthy and strong it makes me so mad dog mad to see our country being swindeled by snake oil sales man God Bless America.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  187. Darlene

    Absolutely, the government should provide accessible and affordable health care for its people. As the parent of a son who died as an adult with cystic fibrosis, I've seen too many individuals fall through the cracks and "age off" of programs at 21 when they would never be cured from their disease. Disabled people don't have paid lobbyists. Government oversight of the healthcare system is profoundly more fair than the theory that those who can afford good health care get adequate treatment while those who cannot qualify or afford it get left out. People in poverty or the working poor need immediate access; they are not helped by tax credits or medical savings accounts when they can barely afford to put food on the table and pay rent.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  188. hugh

    This is a disingenuous question that plays right into the hands of the corporate insurance pigs. No one is talking about gov. being responsible for health care. If you are talking about one public insurance option then frame your question as such. Even medicaid for all would be gov. run insurance; not gov. health care al la England.
    Please for Americas sake get this right. The gov.should invest in the health of its revenue suppliers, and as the constitution says the welfare of the people.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  189. Bruce

    Absolutely not. With their track record of failure to bring about any meaningful reform on any of their programs, God help us if they get their mits into the Health Care Reform. It's up to the American citizen to provide themselves with the health care they need and the America people can. We don't need trillions of dollars which will increase our ever growing deficit which will add additional tax dollars to American Citizens. If you ask me, The government has it's fingers in enough without telling us they want to provide health care for us. Can you just imagine how screwed up a Government run Health care plan would be



    November 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  190. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    We have it now ,no one is turn away at any emergency room or in Chicago we have a free county hospital, that has the best unit for gun shot or knife wounds in the world.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  191. Bob Griffith

    Yes the goverment should be responsible for healthcare. Our free market economy with the "ideals" that it will care for itself has only proven that greed will bring it down. We should pay more taxes to insure that our people are cared for...example, electrolux left the midwest and the employees only got severence and a town that is drying up, people that are sick from lack of care and many foreclosures. In Sweden or Norway (not sure which)...the same company left but was also required by the goverment to help pay for retraining plus they got unemployement till they were retrained and employed. Taxes may be higher but the people did not loose healthcare, their homes or their dreams. Until there is responsible business as the norm (albeit only forced to be by the goverment), our goverment has to care for the people. Yes taxes may rise but moral responsibilty would prevail which our goverment refuses to require of business. The goverment for the people and by the people is nothing more than the goverment for the business and by the business, a model which has not moral responsibility.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  192. Sally Bromley

    Yes, providing universal health care is the government's responsibility. Healthcare is a fundamental right. We are the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide universal health care. If France can provide exceptional health care to all of their citizens, why can't we? That we haven't thus far is a national disgrace!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  193. Dino V.

    Why is the quality at healthcare facilities in the United States so high? The reason is because the U.S. government hasn't tried to reform it yet. If they can't put together a decent task force committee, what says that they can devise a proper universal healthcare plan. We can endorse Harry Reid's idea, by increasing medicare payroll tax on the rich, but then we would need to replace the 50 stars on our nations flag with a sickle and hammer. Socialist States of America, has a nice ring to it!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  194. Dr. Richard Herbert


    If the government doesn't take responsibility for health care, then how can we improve the health of our people so that we no longer rank 42nd in life expectancy (Kaiser Foundation); no longer have the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world (Source – CNN.com); and no longer have 45,000 deaths p.a. due to lack of health insurance (Source – CNNhealth.com)? Are you going to take the responsibility – or will it be Wolf?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  195. Ayo, Texas

    jack isn't it funny how we want the government to be responsible for everything except health-care? we want them to create jobs, stimulate the economy,keep us safe from all enemies, and also make legislation and lead the country if they are expected to do all these with why can't they be responsible for health-care too?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  196. Jackie in Dallas

    Big surprise, the Republicans want to delay the process. That is so their buddies at the big insurance companies can squeeze even more out of the middle class, and even more people like me can die for lack of affordable care. I'm a 59 year old, tax paying citizen, who can no longer afford health care under the current deregulation.

    Do I want government to be responsible for my health care? Not necessarily. But what I DO want is the government to do their JOB, which is to pass laws that prevent unfair practices in the healthcare industry, that prevent the insurance companies from usurping the physician in deciding what care a patient needs, and that prevents the insurance companies from dropping clients with preexisting conditions!

    I want pharmaceudical companies banned from spending billions of dollars advertising drugs to the general public when they require prescriptions to get filled, and I want them to stop price gouging on those prescription drugs. I want hospitals to stop charging $10 for a generic aspirin, and $20 for a box of tissues. I would like to see more government support for clinics and hospitals that treat those who cannot afford care, using a sliding scale by their ability to pay.

    That will do for a start.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  197. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Nooo!!!! Jack and double NO!!!!!..............Triple ""NO""

    November 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  198. S Fry

    We need the health care passed NOW! People are concerned that
    the government should not get into HEALTH CARE, what do they think
    MEDICARE is....what would us SENIORS do without MEDICARE?????
    These younger people just don't get it!!!!! If it is not passed, the Drug Companies and Big Insurance Companies will continue to run it! Someone said the U.S.Senator Dr. Bill Frist's family from Tennessee started Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee. No wonder he opposes it! I say, PASS IT NOW!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  199. michael grace

    People complain that the government shouldn't be involved in healthcare. If their argument is that the free market operates better than government, I say, break up the health insurance monopolies and allow a "true" market-based health care system. The health insurance premiums we pay are just as much a tax on our budgets and economy as any federal or state tax. The only difference is where that money goes and who it serves. In this county, I believe we need to take care of our own in order to be more competitive in the world. Too many people and businesses can't afford the premiums. Inflated health insurance premiums are a tax on our wallets.

    For those who don't want to participate in a national health insurance pool for all individuals, I say, let's repeal the laws that require us to buy auto/property insurance. Why is it that laws require us to protect property yet protecting our health takes a backseat?

    I'm not convinced that government is the answer to all problems nor to I believe the free market will solve them. Our health care system is broke and its time to stir the pot.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  200. A.J. Host

    Jack, your question and the answers to it are irrelevant because nobody is proposing that the government be responsible for everybody's health care.

    Why don't you ask the one question that media ignores? Since health care insurnce in nearly all other countries is administered on a non-profit basis, why is ours the only advanced country with a profit making, share-holder health care system? At costs as high as twice that of some others?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  201. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Under the best of circumstances, no, the government should not and would not be involved in providing affordable health care. The unpleasant truth is that the insurance companies and health care providers, along with Big Pharma, have operated in collusion for decades to create the situation that we now have. For that reason government needs to get involved to protect the citizenry. But the government is even more guilty in it's complicity, so they can't be trusted either. It's time for a real, old fashioned revolution.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  202. Melissa M

    It just shocks me to hear people say that health care is something that the government should provide, but food – a very basic need – is not something the government should provide. You can't have good health without a proper diet and there is a growing number of people in this country who are going hungry. Addressing health care before addressing hunger is like putting the cart before the horse. Sure, it's great for some people, but for the kids who don't get proper meals every day, it's a pretty raw deal made by thoughtless politicians and greedy working class folks who don't want to pay for their own health care.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  203. Ayo, Texas

    correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't they elected to take responsibility for something? if those senators don't want to take up their responsibilities maybe they should just retire without health-care benefits.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  204. vennie arrington

    I feel totally responsible for myself and my health- and I do not want government being the "watchdog" over my body. Each and everyone of us should take charge of our own health and not look to government to tell us what to do(which they will do if they run the system).

    November 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  205. Donald Gibbs

    Yes.How does it go,Life,liberty,and the pursuit of Hapiness-guaranteed rights in our constitution.I sure that includes affordable healthcare.By the way,thats not Socialism.It Democracy praticed everyday by citizens that live by the golden rule-Do unto others as you would do unto them-The Word Of God.Remember,our country was founded on God and his word to live by.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  206. Sue Smith


    I am not in favor of either the House or the Senate versions of HealthCare Reform, especially in reference to the "Panel of Experts" that will be set up to declare standards of medical care and to direct physician choices concerning appropriate medical practices and procedures. The fiasco of the past 24 hours is now proof that we can NOT allow the government to interfere in the practice of medicine; to do so will risk the lives of all of us. If they are going to discourage the practice of routine cancer screening for women today, what will they cut tomorrow? Why don't we insist that both houses of Congress listen to the advice of Dr. Ben Carson and his panel of real experts who practice medicine every day and who have appropriate, practical methods for reforming healthcare? Lou Dobbs had a fantastic episode recently that outlined common-sense approaches to medical reform that don't cost TRILLIONS to implement and that do not involve politicians limiting the practices of physicians.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  207. Andy Johnson

    If the government of every major industrialized country, except the U.S., is involved in healthcare your question becomes one that is designed more to inflame than to educate. I use both Medicare and the local VA Medical Center. Medicare is a single payer system and the VA is a fully socialized medicine. I have no complaints whatsoever with either system. I couldn't wait to get off private health insurance, and all the peculiarities involved in that bloated system. .

    November 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  208. Linda

    Well,Jack, since the Insurance Companies, Pharma Companies, and the "private markets" have conducted such an enonomical, humane, fair practiced Health Care environment, why not let them continue?
    There's NO rationing now. Health Care is now fairly priced and accessible for all, and a stable delivery sytem.
    And, like our education system, financial system, and environmental practices, the U. S. health care system is flawless! Why should the Government offer an option for competition? The five unhealthiest states in the union, ( S Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Mississippi according to Forbes report) and the rest of America should just "delay, delay" improvement of this stellar system. Yea, right! What a sick joke!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  209. Rosemary Prostko

    You think there is no reason for more people saying health care is not the government’s job (47 to 50% is probably in the margin of error so it is probably equal) for the first time in ten years? Like the last time the government tried to do the moral thing?
    How about the Millions of dollars the INDUSTRY is spending to defeat ANY reform? Other countries do it—why can’t we? Aren’t we as moral or competent?
    Mitch McConnell says the Senate won't rush the legislation... and that lawmakers can count on a lot of amendments. Congress people receive much of that corporate money to prevent and postpone any reform. What does that say about the United States?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  210. sanchez

    Definitely... it should be the goverments responsibility. Unfortunately,
    illness rates do not decline because job rates do. It's a pityful state
    of affairs, when a country doesnt ,or can't take care of its sick. The
    government should go after these fat cats and the big Insurance company pigs who care about making their pockets bigger than
    they carry. Healthcare should be a priviledge, not something you
    beg for and Wait to be rejected for.

    Sanchez , Illinois

    November 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  211. Bill from pa

    Seems to work in other Industrialized countries. But get ready to pay a lot more in taxes. It isn't free. But I'd have more trust in an institution without a profit motive than the present greed motivated system deciding who gets what coverage.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  212. Mary Witzel

    The US government has been responsible for many aspects of our health care since the establishment of the forerunner for the Dept of HHS in 1798. Have you heard of the food and drug safety program; nutrition labeling; licensing of blood tests for diseases, such as AIDS; the smallpox eradication program; free information on how to prevent diabetes and other diseases; and on and on. I appreciate the government's looking out for my general welfare. Isn't the question: should the US government tackle reforming the health insurance companies? I think so – that's also looking out for my general welfare.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  213. Ray Marais

    Health care should absolutely be under the government's control, primarily by means of a puplic option. How did we ever get so dumb to believe in all the scare tactics airing in the media, brought to you by the private health insurance companies. I just received notice of yet another premium increase for year 2010: $457 per month, a 76% increase to my 2009 cost. I have never filed any health insurance claims in my life, have no pre-existing conditions and this $457/month policy carries a $10, 000 deductible (that is not a misprint.) I will have no other choice but to drop my coverage and join the ranks of the uninsured.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  214. Keith .... from Oregon

    No, it's my reponsibility to provide for myself....housing, food, health care, etc. It's your responsibility to provide the same for yourself.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  215. Ken Todd

    They Federal Government was not created as a safety net for the People. Smaller Federal Government and no to socialized healthcare.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  216. Katiec Pekin, IL

    The goverment would not have to step in if the health care system was not raping the American people. We can no longer support or afford their continuing greed, total disregard of integrity or ethics.
    Big business has had control for far too long, Jack, and we cannot
    allow people dying, losing everything they have, cancellation of policies, denial of claims, refusing pre existing conditions to
    continue. The only way Health Care will become affordable and fair to the American peopled is with government intervention.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  217. Greg

    No, health care should not be the responsibility of the government. However, heath care should be a government concern. So far, "government" seems to have given up making it a concern; rather turning to view it as an insurance issue (which it isn't). Real health care reform would tackle the cost of health care. Consder asking Congressional representatives what their solution to the cost of health care is. The answer is always "insurance." How does that help control the cost of health care where there is no 'marketplace?"

    November 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  218. John/Jack hopkins

    GOOD WORK JACK. YES, definately, otherwise the Senator lackeys & puppet of the Health & Drug Industry will be allowed to gouge us continually; we know who they are and will go after them very soon. My roots go back to the McConnells of Ireland and I am ashamed of the {R} Senator. His time is limited, trust me.

    John, Army CA.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  219. EDDA

    The reason for the "shift" is the "right" relentless dissimation of misinformation to outright lies and fearmongering.

    Whatever the cost is – it MUST get done – with a strong public option of course – in order to reap the reduction of costs !!!!!!
    Sometimes you have to spend – in order to reap LONG TERM savings.
    But of course the "smart" Republicans don't know that – they only are doing their fear and hate mongering for their own benefit (to get re elected with insurance money) .

    This country = like MOST – if not ALL – civilized industrialized countries = already has a strong socialistic tradition.
    If not FOR THE PEOPLE – for whom is the "government" supposed to govern anyway ???
    The ideal is to marry a reasonable (with strong government oversight and regulated) capitalistic system with socialistic attitudes.
    The perfect blending is the challenge.
    I am proud to be a socialist – or liberal –
    and am ashamed to be lumped with the other side – the selfish and shortsighted and greedy Republicans – hiding behind their form of 'religion = morality.
    I have feeling Jesus would NOT be a Republican .
    He may even have been a homosexual – and I really would not care at all. It is what one DOES – not professes – what makes one the "good" person.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  220. Allen Austin,Mn

    Health care should be our own responsibility , but seeings as all men
    are created equal then maybe the goverment should see to it that all
    have equal access to it.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  221. Fabri

    Yes healthcare is responsibility of the government because if we leave the healthcare in the hands of the big corporations we are not going to be able to afford the skyrocketing prices we all are facing now.America is spending the taxpayer dollars in wars that nobody approved..Why not to use the same money for the healthcare we all have the right to?.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  222. Danny

    In a perfect world our government would not have to provide healthcare, responsible employers would! But we do not live in a perfect world. Our country is the only industrialist nation that does not provide nationwide healthcare for their citizens.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  223. larry ripley

    jack, since the end of WWII, we've had the same ole system and like many systems, its worn out and we need a new one. Government is the only entity big enough to take on the job. The private sector took it on in the late 80s and their level of success is self-evident, so why give that group another chance. Another twenty years of their management and we'll all be broke and dying of some disease.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  224. Joe Mitsch

    Anything as big and messy as the 2000 page health care bill is wrong. Add to this the fact that it is a rush job conceived by unscrupulous politicians behind closed doors with details withheld from the American people; this bill can't pass the smell test.

    Reform is needed so why not make all Insurance , car and health and home, a NON-PROFIT Industry with no pre-existing condition exclusions. Prohibit intra-state only competition and force competition Nation wide. This would allow the Insurance industry to keep the jobs and lose the obscene profit and means to incessantly advertise on television and buy sky scrappers they don't need.

    This would be a good first step toward real reform in the health insurance industry.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  225. Gordon

    You're asking the wrong question and in the wrong way. The real question is do we as a people have a responsibility and a commitment to one another to care. Is it really OK with us that millions of Americans would be without health care? I hope not. In the end we are the government and, yes, we have the responsibility.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  226. john, saskatchewan

    Of course. How the hell do you have life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness with your health. Duuuuuuuuuuu!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  227. Terry from Illinois

    It is in most every other industrialized nation, why not in America? Republicans are blocking "change" that is badly needed in America. GOP created most of the mess we are in today !
    Republicans blocked and scared Americans when healthcare was being looked in 1994 when they had control of both houses of Congress, and they are doing the same now... Unfortunately healthcare premiums have sky-rocketed during the GOP control.
    GOP blocked Trade Agreements changes during their control in Congress (1994-2006) that would have kept middle class American jobs in America that had healthcare coverage and since then allowed companies to "outsource" jobs and have been replaced with lesser jobs with no less healthcare or no healthcare at all.
    So, GOP has watched healthcare premiums costs rise and given tax breaks to companies who outsource American jobs – GOP is the problem, not a government for the people-by the people, run healthcare.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  228. Longwalker

    I have read with increasing dismay the above comments. Doesn't anyone commenting here have any real idea about the health care industry, its "profits" or how it is regulated already. Most of the problems that we have with health care can be traced back to prior "fixes" made by either the federal or state governments. It was in response to the WWII wage and salary controls that led to the idea of employer provided health insurance. It was the Income tax regulations that kept employer provided health insurance alive. The federal government passed, in 1945, a law allowing the individual states to restrict interstatre commerce in health insurance. It was the imposition of state mandates that have driven up the cost of health insurance while the states prevented any real competition from occuring. People, ple3ase note that those medical practices and procedures that are not covered by health insurance have shown falling prices during the period in which mandated health insurance costs have been going through the roof. Wise up and smell the coffee.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  229. Sydney A. Gross

    Let's give the government a try. the private sector has done a lousy job so far. Of course we will have to keep the politicians accountable,if at all possible.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  230. Norma of Illinois

    I don't believe that we need the government to take over the whole healthcare program for all, however we definitely need reform.
    Many people don't seem to realize that when someone is without health insurance and lands in the hospital, we the tax payers end up picking up the tab.
    The number one reason for filing bankruptcy is due to medical expenses.
    Not being able to obtain health insurance because of a pre-existion condition often leads to medical bills not getting paid as well as insurance rates going up for the employers.
    Another good point to make is that there are drugs that are available in generic form in Canada that we can't get, as of yet, in generic form in the United States.
    We Americans need to be looking at the whole picture here and realize we do need some sort of reform and if our government don't do it who will?

    Norma of Illinois

    November 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  231. Chris

    The debate over health care in this country is so frustrating. I would venture a guess that the majority of that 50% in the Gallup Poll who think that the government should not play a role in health care have absolutely no idea how health care functions in other developed countries. It is pathetic that the richest country in the world does not cover all its citizens, it is even more pathetic that while we do not cover everyone, we still manage to outspend every other country out there (per person) on health care costs...The results for all this money? According to the World Health Organization, we rank 45th in life expectancy and 47th with regards to infant mortality rates. Why don't you poll citizens of Japan, Taiwan, Great Britain, Germany, France, Canada, etc...and see who would like to trade their health care system for ours? Socialism cry the hysterical and ignorant? I say it's CIVILIZED!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  232. Michael Jamas Helminski

    Health Care is a RIGHT, not a privilege...this is why I voted for President Obama. I can't imagine anybody but conservatives who have decided they don't think the government should provide national health care. Please!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  233. Angie

    The Preamble of the Constitution states:
    'We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Prosterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.'
    Gee isn't it nice, our government does have to Promote My General Welfare. Oooops, I guess the founding fathers felt that my general Welfare was important.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  234. Ellen

    Yes, our current mess confirms that the Private sector cannot be trusted. Our Senators and Congressman can not be trusted to regulate the private system that greases their pockets.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:57 pm |