December 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Can U.S. survive without health care reform?


An activist participates in a vigil to support public option in health care (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama says the federal government "will go bankrupt" if Congress doesn't pass health care reform.

In an interview with ABC News - The president warns that without new health care legislation - people's premiums will go up and employers will add on more costs. Also - he says it's possible employers will start dropping coverage all together - because they just can't afford the increase in costs, somewhere to the tune of 25 to 30 percent a year.

Mr. Obama adds that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are headed in an "unsustainable" direction... and threaten to bankrupt the government if nothing is done. The president says anyone who's worried about rising deficits or future tax increases has to support the bill - because otherwise, health care costs will just eat up the budget.

But not everyone is buying what the president is selling. Polls suggest Americans are increasingly skeptical - with support for health care reform falling... while the opposition grows stronger. One new survey shows that for the first time more people say they would prefer Congress do nothing on health care than those who want reform.

It's unclear if the Senate will be able to pass its bill by the president's deadline of Christmas. Among other things, moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska - a key holdout - says the question of abortion funding still hasn't been answered to his liking.

Here’s my question to you: Can the U.S. survive without health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lee writes:
Of course it can survive, and it will. These political idiots do their best to paint a scary gloom and doom cost scenario yet they do nothing to contain the activities of the insurance and health corporations who continuously drive up the health care costs. Au contraire, they hand them a golden nugget by requiring every citizen in the country to buy insurance.

H. from Tennessee writes:
Of course the U.S. will survive without health care reform. It may be a world some would prefer not to see, Dickensian disparities in the health and well-being between the haves and the have-nots, but the U.S. is, to borrow a phrase from the banking fiasco, "too big to fail." At least for the moment. After all, it took Rome a couple of centuries to totter into decrepitude. Surely we can hold out a few decades before the Chinese clean our economic clocks.

Cindy writes:
Yes, we can survive without this particular concept of health care "reform." Obama is using scare tactics and hyperbole in a desperate act to sell this debacle, and no one is buying it. This administration has consistently mishandled everything that lands on its plate – so much so that the media apologists are now finding it almost impossible to carry Obama's water to the masses. We voted for smoke and mirrors, and now we're unhappy that that's what we got.

Seathrun from Watertown, Massachusetts writes:
Survive? Most probably, for maybe 15 or 20 years. Thrive? I seriously doubt that. As we debate, the U. S. of A. is hurtling towards that special place in history already occupied by the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as the 18th/19th century empires of France, Spain and England.

Jim writes:
We will survive, but we will survive like a third world country, and the health care executives will be able to buy another yacht.

James writes:
Survive? I think we are about to find out.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Braden, Studio CIty, CA

    Reform? You got to define what reform means.
    [reform] =
    1 a : to put or change into an improved form or condition b : to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses
    2 : to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action
    3 : to induce or cause to abandon evil ways

    Reform does not mean add to or expand. Obama and Congress wants to add to and expand Health Care. That's not reform.

    Once we call it what it is the problem can begin to be resolved.

    The U.S can not survive very well without TRUE reform.
    The U.S. will have even a harder time surviving with what Obama and Congress are trying to do. Its NOT Health Care reform its Health Care Expansion.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  2. keith

    In all of the rhetoric on both sides, one simple fact remains. The US health care "system" is not sustainable on it's current path and therefore changes are inevitable. Fact: the average waiting time for chest pain patients to receive medical attention in a US emergency room has more than doubled in the past 15 years. This is, a least in part, a direct result of the un/under-insured seeking routine medical care and several laws passed to prevent hospitals from dumping/transferring these patients to other hospitals (a non-comprehensive band-aid solution). The real question is whether we would like "market forces" and a succession of ad hoc, band-aid-like fixes or a comprehensive effort by the federal government to be the agent of this change.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  3. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    One of my most favorite movie lines comes from Shawshank Redemption and went like this: You either get busy living or get busy dying.

    Health care reform is an example of the intangible elements slowly taking the breath out of America.

    Health Care was not about providing better care to Americans, it, like most initiatives such as financial reform and our two wars, is about political gain, political power, and greed.

    This is what is pulling the plug and is causing our society to get busy dying.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  4. Mita, Oak Park, MI

    No. Americans want something for nothing, but the truth is America will go bankrupt if this issue is not addressed immediately. We can blame the insurance companies, doctors and the government, but no one wants to blame the fat unhealthy American. We are devourers of health care not consumers. We want all the test, benefits that our employers/government can buy at the peril of our wages and the uninsured. The bill before Congress has real potential for reform and cost savings. It sets up Advisory panels with real teeth that can reign in Medicare cost, it expands preventative services, community based clinics and more importantly it helps people who are uninsured get coverage (no one will go bankrupt because they get sick). Best of all it will not add to the deficit, unlike Bush's Medicare Part D prescription coverage that has been projected to cost 1.2 trillion dollars between 2006 and 2015.

    Obama staked a lot on reform and I give him credit for going through this ugly partisan process and getting us closer than ever before to regulating health care. There are many good things in this bill and just like the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 it will need to be added to in order to make it better, but for now it's a pretty comprehensive package for reform. Please people read the bill don't believe the hype of the Insurance Co. and Republicans/DINOs without checking it out for yourself!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  5. CT no Dodd

    That's because he is selling bunk and people aren't falling for it as quickly or easily as they did for the so called stimulas.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  6. Dan

    NO! It has been the stone around the US neck for atleast 20years. The Republicans as usual are focused on saving big business instaed of solving the problem. Worst of all, like sheep the American people keep buying into the "everything will be OK" line.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  7. Karl from SF, CA

    We probably can’t. We are competing with countries that have national health care, which is most of the rest of the civilized world, but God save our insurance executives. That poll indicates that Americans are either too stupid or too gullible to realize the status quo can’t go on. It’s another Wall Street. The fat cats don’t care and the politicians stuff their PACs for re-election. Thank God I go on SS in February. My current individual plan went from $598.00 a month this year to $678.00 in January. I am a low maintenance subscriber so I can imagine what others who aren’t as healthy as I pay. We need to wake up before it’s too late and there isn’t much time left. May the Republicans rot in hell.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  8. Beverly

    Durango, CO
    No we can't survive without health care reform. The numbers demonstrate that doing nothing will bankrupt us, particularly since we've chosen cheap foods and dangerous lifestyles over healthfulness, and we expect to be able to fix everything with drugs instead of changes in how we live. The bottom line, though, is that in such a thriving and succesful country we should have measures in place to ensure that everyone has a home, has health care, and has food. This sounds socialistic to some, but in reality, this would allow everyone to work within our economic structure – all adding to the financial success of our country and the world. To do anything less is a declaration of no integrity, and a compromise of the values on which this country was built. "Give me your tired, your poor ... "

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  9. Brad Simmons

    rediculous question. Of course we can. Get real.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  10. tinri

    Jack, I don't know if it will bankrupt the US. I do know if things don't change, it may bankrupt me first. I own a small distribution business with 6 employees. 2010 will be the second year in a row where I cannot give pay raises because the cost of health insurance increases per employee is again, greater than the 3% raise I planned to give in pay raises.

    That my friend is the hidden tax my employees pay. If people want to know why incomes have remained stagnant in the US over the past 10 years, look no further than the employers Blue Cross invoices.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  11. Jack

    Now who's the one using scare tactics, Jack? They accused the Republican Party of doing this for the last 8 years, and America got tired of it. Now they're doing it and expect it to work...good luck.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  12. Denny Brandon

    We can survive as we did in the days when "Health Care" was better known as "Hospitalization". Now everyone wants someone else to pick up the bulk of what they spend for services that, until recently, they wouldn't have bought on their own dime. Health insurance should cover big things, but cover them fully.

    Denny, Tennessee

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  13. Brian - Lakewood, Ohio

    We need to look at true reform. Hospitals need to streamline and cut costs. Drug Companies need to stop advertising. Tort reform needs to be enacted. Real reform is needed.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  14. Steve

    We don't need reform. We need more people with a stake in the game. HSA's are the answer. Keep what you save and let it grow in a tax-free account to be used for health expenses down the road.

    Ask your doctor how much that flu shot costs, then go to Walgreen's and get if for 1/4 the price of the doctor's office.

    The current system is nothing but a third party payer program with a teeny tiny amount that goes towards catastrophe coverage. I want full on pure catastrophe coverage only and let me pay and negotiate for the little things myself.

    They are talking about people like me, small businessman Steve, who have HSAs looking forward to rates tripling...back to what I used to pay for my HMO. NO THANKS!!!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Clay


    Who cares if the US will survive. The real question is with you or I survive!


    December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  16. Sean from Texas

    These jokers are voting on a Bill that no one has read or understands. And President Obama is at the forefront of this lunacy.
    Unbelievable. I will do my part to see that these idiots are voted out during the next election(s). The majorityof Americans don't want this. Are these folks deaf?????????????????????????????????????

    December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  17. Gary Henricks

    Congress is so out of toucn with its obligatioins to those who elected them that our ecomonic and political system is at risk. Senators and representatives are so preoccupied with their own interests and benefits that the people are left with no one to champion their causes. Big money and big businesses run this country, with the safety and welfare of the average citizen left unattended. Corporate greed and congressional self interest push aside all consideration of the people. The people are left to hold the bag for corporate bailouts, tax breaks for the rich and corporations, and to clean up environmental disasters which result from special interests receiving preferewnce over good environmental policy. It sickens me to see what this country has become and how far it has strayed from the principles that it once stood for and represented. I fear for the future of those who are now in elementary and middle schools. Not only is the prosect of opportunity and personal freedom at risk, but hope for the future is diminishing as well.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  18. Ken Hayes

    Seattle, WA but I now live in Puerto Vallarta Mexico since the Medical expenses are much less in Mexico. I feel that the U.S. will NOT survive without health care reform. The current mess is due mostly to too much insurance company greed and too many legal suits, which has caused doctors to run unnecessary tests. The whole system is about to spiral out of control.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  19. John Silhavy

    Correction to 5:05 PM comment. With no change to healthcare it was predicted that cost wold increase over 100 % in the next ten (10) years.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  20. Bill

    In a word yes – health care is not the biggest nor most pressing threat to the future of this country; the national debt is. To those who say that the current health care reform being proposed in Congress will help reduce the debt – I say you are incredibly gullible and ignorant of the historical certainty that all government programs increase in scope, size and cost. Look at Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. If we can't afford those in their current form (all three are bankrupt) then how can we afford a huge new entitlement in the middle of a recession. And don't tell me that health care reform will cut costs by reducing fraud, duplicate test, etc. We don’t need to overhaul the whole system to do that; we could just implement those reforms and use the savings to pay for extended coverage.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  21. Samuel Mann

    No we cannot survive. The war on government and taxes is the problem. It has eroded the capability of the government and thus faith in same. Thanks a lot Mr. Reagan, a fine hill you pushed us down. The cult of personality associated with the 40th President has made his issues the mantra of the withering GOP. But the ideals have lingered with the people, and are brought to the surface by every right wing huckster still bloviating today. This is why our roads crumble, bridges fall, schools rot, and divisions in society deepen – there is no shared sense of nation. Horay for me and screw everyone else. The healthcare crisis is just another result of it all.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Nancy - Tulsa, OK

    Of ocurse the U.S. can survive without healthcare reform. Obama is using scare tactics to shove this monstrosity down the throats of the American people. It has not been so very long ago that there was no health insurance at all. People simply paid at the time of their services. I do believe we need healthcare reform, but not one that has been rushed through just so they can say they "reformed healthcare".

    December 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  23. bill

    Yes, but can it survive with a reform that is voted into being by a single party voting for and the other party voting against. Slow down. Give people a chance to understand what is happening. Piecemeal is better than an omnibus type of approach. Guarantee that things like declaring "ownership of a firearm" is a health hazard , thus making it more costly or impossible to purchase healthcare for those who enjoy hunting, or concerned for personal safety, or just like collecting are not in the legislation. Don't circumvent the Constitution on this or any issue. Just in case anyone is wondering, I'm a registered and voting Democrat. I'm not a member of NRA or GOA or anyother firearms organization. I'm a veteran. I have 3 college degrees. I am not against reform just against political stupidity and a rush to please the president.


    December 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  24. Augusta

    The reason many people have abandoned health care "reform" is now it's a shell of what the majority of Americans had in mind six months ago. Specifically, instead of helping those who cannot afford health care, the newest versions will only force us to buy EXPENSIVE private health care, cut down the malpractice amounts, and refuse to expand Medicare. It's such a terrible skeleton of what used to be some good ideas, I hate the newest model on the floor. It's hideous. Bottom line: people who need help aren't going to get help; corporation fat cats who sponsor politicians' campaigns will make out like bandits. We're not stupid you know. We can see that it's better to have NO health care reform than to have this Republican version. I sponsor international high school exchange students who cannot believe the mess and the misinformation about the great health care they receive overseas! If we can "clean up" the IRS, the Postal system, the education system, the V.A., surely we can clean up the insurance industry. The Democrats I voted for have let me down....

    December 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  25. jason

    Yes, the US can survive! We have survived this long with out healthcare reform. It is just another way the socialists in this country can get into others' pockets.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  26. Bob Straight

    Support or non-support for health care reform is based more on what people want to believe they are told than on informed decision. That's the first issue because each side of the political spectrum, to include associated talking heads, are engaged in a massive case of information warfare to win the most support. In this case, for both sides, the ends justifies the means, and the poor consumer will be left hanging either way. Truth, fiction – who cares, so long as the side building the story line sways public opinion.

    Obama using fear tactics? Why not. At least, in this instance, it is about health care. Much better than using fear tactics to generate support for invading another country.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  27. Donna

    No. The middle class continues to carry the brundt and we are barely surviving and most likely the majority will be headed for bankruptcy at sometime in our lives..

    December 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  28. Jabli Izvesti

    America can survive and prosper without the health care legislation now before the Congress.The legislation is riddled with power politics and manipulated by special interests.That it will provide better health care to the currently uninsured is an illusion.Politicians and the lobbyists are spooking the public with all kinds of gigantic lies.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  29. Cody in Magna, UT

    No, the Federal Government will not go broke. Once the Republicans, the Drug Companies and Insurance Companies have defeated Health Care Reform, and duped the American Voter into returning them to power, they'll decide it's OK to increase the National Debt to fund their own agenda again. Of course I'll continue to pay 4 times what my meds would cost if they were re-imported from Canada, the Insurance Companies will continue to decide who lives and who dies based on their profit margin and we'll all pay higher premiums to pay for the media blitz that "saved" us from socialism. The Rich and the Country iteslf will be fine...it's the rest of us that are screwed.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  30. Bradley seattle

    i think not...we are over 3 trillion in debt i dont know how we are not bankrupt now but if 25 to 30 percent of employer supplied health care will drop per year it will only get worse so we need to fix the situation now befor we get to so called bankruptcy

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  31. Stella from Chicago

    You, I am sure, can survive and others like you and also like me, because we are fortunate to have an insurance, but millions of people without insurance and without the possibility to buy one, absolutely not. Would you?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  32. Fred in Los Angeles

    Yes, since we can't afford it right now.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  33. Bob Straight

    This is my submission.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  34. clbrune, Portland Oregon

    Sure we can. As long as we don't get sick. The better question is whether we can survive the health care reform package our Senate is pushing (thanks, Joe Lieberman).

    Obama says the nation will go bankrupt without reform, and yet one small group of people (insurers) are making a BUNDLE from taxpayers.

    And Obama wants to mandate that we MUST pay those profiteers?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  35. George Davis

    The country may go bankrupt if there are no changes to our health care system but the country IS going bankrupt with Barack Obama as President. I fear our out-of-control President and Congress more than I do the lack of health care reform.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  36. Fred, Toronto, CANADA

    How I wish Obama had run under the Republican banner! This health care bill would have been passed a long time ago (before it was written).
    Can Obama switch party now and leave all these "wimps" in the Democratic party who despite their majority can't pass anything tangible to help the America people.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  37. Sean

    Let's call it what it really is, Jack. This is not health care reform, it's health insurance reform and the U.S. will not prosper unless we remove the unnecessary costs of the profit-driven private insurance industry. Universal, single-payer insurance with free choice of doctor and hospital is the cheapest solution with the same level of quality care that we already have.

    – Sean in Boylston MA

    December 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  38. suresh, Alameda, CA

    I think Obama may be right but the real argument that he should be making that is is MORAL to have all our citizens access to healthcare. The fact the 44000 of our fellow citizens die each year because they have no access to healthcare is a shame to world's richest and most powerful nation. I wish Obama and Democrats would have made Moral argument for nees of reform in our healthcare system. I think most Americans are compationate and they would not object to having their fellow citizens taken care of. Unfortunately the special interests have been successful in scaring people about death panels and government takeover, etc and now we may be stuck with a bill that is useless without the Public Option. It is good bill for special interets at the cost of tax payers.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  39. Brian S.

    No. Healthcare is killing the economy, Jack. What's killing the economy is a clear lack of bipartisanship. Republicans won't admit that big business is their biggest supporter, Democrats won't admit that Republicans are too stubborn to allow such expansive legislation. The problem is an impasse in our political system that fails to represent something very important: the people. If this country wasn't an oligarchy we would have had Healthcare Reform under Clinton. It's time for business to get out of the senate and for the politicians to get out of bed with insurance companies.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  40. Ron

    The U.S. can certainly survive without THIS reform package. Despite what the president says, the bill before the Senate will do nothing to "bend the cost curve," except maybe point it further up. They need to start over and address the real problems instead of launch another massive government takeover in the economy.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  41. Marianne

    Probably not-Health care in this country needs to be reformed-I am however skeptical about the bill congress is "working out". Without a public option or Medicare expansion, it seems not much is going to be reformed. Being able to buy prescription drugs from other countries is off the table as well. Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and "pro-lifers" have completely out bullied the democrats, and people who want real reform are left with more of the same .

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  42. john

    Survive, sure... Thrive, absolutely not. When the quality and quantity of available health care is based on the profitability of those doling it out, it can never lead to a successful and universal solution. While I believe that the government should keep its role to a minimum when it comes to business, there are specific roles that the government should occupy – national security, social security, and health security (health care) are some of those areas.

    The preamble to the US constitution states that the people, together, should provide for the common defence [sic] and promote the general welfare. Unhealthy people cannot work, produce, and perform. A healthy individual is an important asset to any company, and to the country as a whole. Currently the US government pays almost three times more per capita than other governments that provide universal health care to ALL of their citizens, which is directly reflected in their average longevity and infant mortality rates in those countries. When this cost is added to the costs that businesses and individuals are burdened with, it is just embarrassing. American can do better and should do better – our health and prosperity depend on it.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  43. HWeis

    The U. S. is the only industrialized nation in the world without a healthcare budget. Per the GAO and the Pete Peterson Foundation, the estimated present value of the unfunded liablity for all federal programs is over $50 Trillion. Medicare is approximately $30 Trillion and Medicare Part D (Rx) is approximately $8 Trillion. Per a 2006 GAO report, if nothing is done about this by the year 2040, federal programs will have to be cut by 60% or taxes doubled. So the easy answer to the question is Yes, the country will go broke if nothing is done to rein in the cost of healthcare and other federal programs.

    Wilmington, DE

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  44. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Without health care reform, medical costs will consume an ever larger portion of our GDP. The insurance companies, drug companies and other medical professionals have so distorted the bills under consideration that a mislead public currently thinks they don't want change. It's been a real con job.

    The bottom line is that if we don't reform the health insurance system the percent of GDP (already twice that of other developed countries) will continue to go up and fewer and fewer people will have health care.

    It is immoral for a country with our wealth to have citizens without basic health care.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  45. Evert Cooper

    Yes, the US will survive, but only if the Federal government restrains itself or removes itself altogether from health care. I think that there are too many dollars (Medicare and Medicade) chasing too little health care. Normally, a supply/demand curve of market forces will stop any upward cost spiral., but I don't see strong efforts by our congress to restrain health care costs. On the contrary, health care is not being reformed, but rather expanded to include more people. It is oxymorphic that health care costs can be restrained while coverage is simultaneously being expanded. Health care costs will continue to be driven upward.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  46. Jay, Illinois

    It makes me absolutely sick that the Democrats can't act as a single unit and get this done. This is so important to the lives of every American. Even the heartless Republicans, committing a completely transparent wrong by blocking this so very important and necessary bill, are standing as one. How can these guys waste this golden opportunity?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  47. frank

    Jack, Unfortunately our president is not listening to the American .Real Health Reform is to make Health Insurance more competitive like the the Auto insurance. Thank You

    December 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  48. Dave Kacynski

    Of course the U.S. can survive without health care reform. Individual citizens, not so much. It's a disgrace that our healthcare system does not cover all of our citizens. Having recently been a Republican, with hope of a major change in the party to allow me to live with myself if I rejoined some day, I understand the "free market" mentality. This doesn't work with healthcare. For insurance companies to maximize profits, they must minimize payouts in the form of healthcare. How can this work for Americans? I think as long as insurance companies decide who gets how much healthcare, we will always be paying too much and recieving too little.

    Dave Kacynski, Green Bay, WI

    December 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  49. chris

    well we made it this far now if only we can stop getting gouged by insurance companines while we are at it lets keep congress and govt officials off of their wonderful insurance till thay do somethign for us

    December 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  50. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Uh, Jack,
    How do you suppose we "Survived" before Lyndon Baines Johnson's "Great Society"? And, Jack, after 70 plus years of Democrat Socalsim why aren't thing any better? I have to ask, Wha Hoppen????

    All Social Programs need to be returned to the States where the states can keep them, modify them, or dump them.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  51. John Kearns

    No, this country cannot survive without meaningful health care reform, but what is now on the table has been so stripped of it's meaningful components that it is not helpful to enough citizens.
    The reason why the bill has fallen into negative polling territory recently is disgust from liberals and progressives. As the bill looses it's teeth with which to fight the Enemy of the People (Big Insurance) more and more citizens in the middle and on the left are pulling their support of the Liebermann Bill.
    John K
    Healdsburg, CA

    December 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  52. Ed McWilliams


    Do you have the latest edition of grandma's home remedies.
    If you don't , go out and get one because if health care isn't
    reformed in this country, thats the only care anyone will be able
    to afford. The partisan politics in this country defy logic and
    we will never be able to move forward on any major issues in
    this country because of the division. For the last 8 years you
    never heard the republicans utter the words "health care"
    but the minute the democrats take it up, its a bad idea regardless
    of how it impacts everyone in this country. Its politics at its very worst
    Jack. We should all just register independent!!!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm |

    I think the country will survive, but situation with health care is outrageous. I've been living in this country for 20 years and can witness skyrocketing cost of premiums and employer' cutbacks on the example of the company where I work for 16 years.
    USA considers itself as the prime fighter for human rights all over the world, but brutally violates one of the basic human rights of it's citizen denying or conditioning access to medical care on selective basis.
    Smart people should disregard pole results which currently show declining support of the public. Massive and agressive propaganda against any improvements to existing heath care system, using scare tactics of unbelivable failures of universal health care systems successfully existing in civilized world, reaches brainwashed public successfully.
    Opponents of health care reform are practically lobbying interests of pharmaceutical, insurance and certain groups of medical industries, which are very much interested in preserving status-quo, where they can voluntarily hunting for super profits without any restraints.
    The health care system in the country already became an ugly business oriented machine, sucking money out of public pockets with very low and non-efficient output, ranking number 35 in the world.
    It is a shameful situation for still wealthiest country in the world and it has to be changed by any means.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  54. Janet

    Jack, take away the health insurance from all the Senators, the Congress, and all the Federal employees and see how fast they come up with the greatest health plan the world has ever seen

    December 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  55. josh

    Jack, the entire debate is starting to become a joke, When my party took over & announced they were the majority, My chest poked out with pride, because i just wanted a chance to show the country, the world the reason why the Dems are as good as we say we are. they would want to show the country how well they can govern, how well they can get together & pass laws which would improve our lives. but i'm so embarrassed to see how my party govern, i feel like becomming an Independent,. its awful to sit & watch.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  56. Paul

    Unless something is done soon the existing healthcare system will bankrupt this country. We pay over twice as much for our health care as other modern western democracies. In this instance the private sector has allowed costs to escalate out of control. Quite simply, if we continue to do things the same way that we always have how can we expect to achieve a different result.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  57. Steve from California

    No, Jack, the U.S. will not survive without health care reform. But the key question here has to be what sort of health care reform can save us from skyrockting insurance rates and skyrocketing health care costs. The "boomers" are retiring at an ever-increasing rate. These people are "paid up" members of the club. They earned the right to retire with dignity and security. So, what we must do is roll up the shirtsleeves and deal with the problem. The problem is both rates and costs and how they relate one to the other. The current bill does little to nothing about the underlying costs–testing, medications, expensive equipment; critical shortages of doctors and nurses; too few hospital beds; the pressing need for a nationwide network of "treat anyone" medical clinics. There are real opportunites to be found in this morasse we are in. We can either continue to throw people overboard or take our creed as Americans seriously and sift through the grit to find those golden opportunities. Congress is trying to write this bill using the same thinking as with other kind of legislation. It will never work. We need to use the blue-ribbon commission approach and start from the bottom and work our way up to create the finest health care system in the world.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  58. Rich

    Jack, the insurance and drug companies have already won. They provided the money to get the right "elected" officials into office so that nothing would change. And they're spending the money needed to insure that investment. Congress no longer represents the American people. They represent the special interest groups that paid to get them elected. Health care reform, in any form that didn't sustain the status quo for insurance and drug companies, was DOA. When our "elected" officials finally decide it's time to work for the country's interests instead of the special interests, we may have a prayer of getting out of the mess we're in.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  59. Holden Mirror

    According to the CBO, we will go broke. All the while Repubs deny the truth and beat their chests and proclaim "American Exceptionalism". I submit they actually believe in "American Acceptionalism"..... They accept lobby money. They accept higher healthcare costs. They accept our low ranking in terms of healthcare quality. They accept that they can't fix the problem. They accept that they can do no better than the system currently in place. They accept that they cannot lead us to a better solution to a problem they know exists.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  60. kenny oyege

    hi Jack
    i don't know where you get your polls from but from the people i meet every day that poll can't be right it does how ever will help the congressmen that only vote the way of the polls to have an excuse when they try to oppose the bill for their selfish reasons. it is very shucking that the very people that claim they love their neighbor as themselves are the very ones that won't support the bill cause at this time they have a healthcare corverage

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  61. Mark in Utah

    Cody in Magna, UT: You are blaming Republicans for not letting drugs get imported from Canada? Let's talk about who just pushed that to pass? Your man, Obama. Get your facts straight.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  62. Jackson Day

    Of course, the US will survive. But the 45,000 who are dying each year because of lack of health insurance coverage will not.

    Jack, Columbia, Maryland

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  63. Ron

    One more thought. Congress is ignoring that it is the biggest cause of inflation in health care costs. This will would make it worse by mandating coverage and dictating what must be included. If passed, costs to you and me will go up, and I don't believe (no one believes) that Medicare has half a trillion dollars of waste that Congress can find and cut. It's all smoke and mirrors.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  64. Brent

    The US is under a crushing burden. The security entitlements it has promised to every generation to name one. Borrowing from the future to pay the present is not sustainable, but seems to be the favorite action our elected congress (all of them!).

    Excessive taxation and borrowing destroys a society by stagnating choice. The less money you get to keep, the fewer choices you can make for yourself.

    It is a fact that seems anti-intuitive to many. Please read a book like "Economic in One Lesson" or "The Law" by Bastiat. There are natural laws for a healthy society and central planning is not one of them.

    Google these books. They are old, time tested, and free.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  65. Juan from Edwardsville, IL

    As a supporter for Universal Health Care, I believe the U.S. can survive without reform. But only the wealthier U.S. citizens will survive at the expense of sacrificing lower-income residents, college students and the unemployed. Without reform, this country can move forward, leaving behind more Americans declaring bankruptcy, with an increase in poverty numbers and crime, much like the 1980's.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  66. CK

    Democrats say Republicans are the "NO Party". In fact the Republicans realize everyone wants it their way so they want to eat it bite by bite. Make it illegal to segregate by pre-existing conditions. Next, fix Medicare so doctor's will continue to accept patients on Medicare instead of refusing new customers that only have Medicare. Allow insurance companies to sell in other states. Do a realistic study into buying drugs from outside the US. Encourgae small businesses to form coops to be able to afford health insurance for their employees instead of ramming it down their throats.

    You can't force small businesses into this or you will increase unemployment because those small businesses won't exist anymore! Quit trying make the "rich" pay for the poor! Why not tax companies that send jobs offshore? That would bring in significant revenue that could help lower the deficit and provide funds for some health care for people who don't have it. And do it off of gross revenue so the companies can't cook the books to lessen their liability. This would keep jobs in the US and provide more jobs.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  67. rosslaw

    One fact which underlines the need to change the medical health insurance insanity is removing the anti-trust exemption granted that industry. Health insurerers can literally divide geographic markets, employ strategies to keep out new competitors and agree to set prices, all legally and against the interest of every policyholder. The Republican Party is dedicated to preserving the health insurance cartel while accusing the President of "socialism" and otherwise raising diversionary issues such as their newly discovered fiscal restraint that had been missing while the federal treasury was looted for eight years.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  68. Michael

    The U.S. will attempt survive. The U.S. will attempt to survive with rising premium rates, less health coverage, and more corporate avarice. Granted, the Democrats have done much within their power to allow the debate over healthcare reform to become muddled and even more troubling. However, if we do not do anything to confront this growing dilemma, as well as the budget crisis, the U.S. may see its powerful position in the world slip away. Niccolo Machiavelli once warned that if one governs oneself too cautiously and times turn out bad, then "he is ruined because he does not change his mode of proceeding."

    December 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  69. Douglas - Erlanger, Kentucky

    Reform? Whats left of the bill to call reform? Its a big insurance bail out in disguise! The word of the day should be RECONCILIATION! I am disgusted when I look up the $$ amounts that senators receive to obstruct government. Theres no reason they cannot expand Medicare to cover Everyone under reconciliation and let Leiberman and his obstructionist puppets go full time on the payrolls of the Connecticut insurance companies based in his home state. If the Democratic leadership does anything less, it will be political suicide when America returns to the polls.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  70. Carla Chadick

    No! But the present bill with a mandate that's a giant gift to the health insurance bloodsuckers isn't the answer either. The Senate and House should use reconciliation to get the most important parts of the bill through, leaving the mandate in the same waste can with the public option. Medicare expansion could then be added and maybe we'd finally have some sane reform that wouldn't bankrupt the middle class and give people like myself who have no health insurance and can't afford present-day premiums a chance to have coverage. I'm so disgusted with all the fiddling while Rome burns that's going on with everyone from Lieberman to Grassley. Obviously, these arrogant, venal men don't give a crap about the rest of us. My only hope is that the people in their states boot them the hell out of office.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  71. Bob

    Even a flawed and overly expensive bill is preferable to no bill at all. It is very obvious that there is NO WAY Congress can create any bill that handles the needs in one sitting. The process of reforming the issue is going to be a long, evolving one. Having a bill signed into law now, establishes the premise as a national objective. This is just the start of the process. Subsequent Congresses will continue this evolution. Fighting, screaming and politics will be the course of action. The give and take will, hopefully, allow the effects of that process to come to a balance of the different approaches to provide for a more sustainable system, both for our health care and economic viability.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  72. Chris Adams Greenville, MS

    With health care reform, people's well-being will become much better especially here in the area where people pay $10-15 dollars more than others across the nation. It's shameful that we claim to live in the "world's richest nation, and the average person (me) cannot see a doctor w/o the hospital asking for insurance. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and the insurance companies squealed like pigs at a slaughterhouse. Americans need this whether they realize it or not.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  73. Mike

    Sure, as long as you don't get sick.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  74. Pam

    I would be interested in a study that shows unnecessary deaths in the US in a given period based on inability to pay for health care. I'd also like to see statistics on families who have gone bankrupt due to medical costs. Finally, I'd like to see a study that shows whether folks who have committed crimes – murder or destruction of property – that might have been saved had they felt they could afford to access mental health / medical care.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  75. Vishwa RP Sinha

    It is a pity that no body ever talk about how much it adds to the national prosperity with healthy nationals. Just imagine one person falls sick in the family how much the nation loses in terms of human productivity not of the sick only but others who care for the person. Everything is not economics and politics but may be sheer greed.Those who are against the bill should search their hearts the reasons behind . History shows that whenever the Health Care Plan has been foiled, who gained ?Is it the public or those politician who torpedoed it? The same thing is happening now. President may loose face for the time being but others who are needy will loose their life and the country will ultimately loose its human resource and their productivity. To enhance and maintain the human productivity Health Care Bill should get genuine support, the poll motivated by ignorance and those persons propagating ,supporting and spreading wrong messages should be publically exposed before it is too late.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  76. J.R. Scarborough


    I have been involved with this issue from the perspective of a licensed health insurance agent, a small business owner, and a corporate employee. This issue is impacting business expansion, individual career decisions, and individual health decisions. Without a doubt, reform is needed, but it should be more simplistic. After much drama, I've enrolled in the VA system. Were it not for my prior military service I would have to forego coverage because the insurance premiums have increased while the health coverage has decreased. My advice: Look at the VA system as the model to fix this problem.

    Kennesaw GA

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  77. Marc from San Diego

    "Yes we can," but just because we can doesn't mean that we should. The continuous increase in healthcare costs are equivalent to a large yearly tax increase that companies need to deal with. American workers (Republican, Democratic, and Independant's alike) need to realize that these premium increases are reducing their overall salaries.

    We have one party trying to solve this problem and another party that just says "no" to everything. God help us!!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  78. Ed from California

    We could survive if Congress would regulate the Insurance industry. As we can see Senator Aetna doesn't want that. Now Senator Aetna and all his buddies, still feed at the trough and accept the generous Health Care benefits that we all give them. Congress doesn't have any skin in the game, and it's disingenuous that they fight so hard to exclude us from enjoying the benefits from "group" co-op in getting affordable Health Care. Maybe they as a group would step forward and forgo their benefit package and buy their plans in the "open" market just like their employers, namely us.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  79. Joe in MO

    No. Not in the long run. Reputable studies show that premiums (for the few who can get insurance) will double in ten years. How long can ratepayers or the government stand that?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  80. Steve Young

    The math is simple.
    Premiums go up an average of at least 9% a year meaning they double every 8 years. Businesses can't support that so more gets passed on to the employee. Looks like a train wreck coming.

    Highest per capita expenditure for health care = 23rd best outcomes in the world. Looks like we pay for a Ferrari to get a KIA.

    3 million uninsured who show up in ERs for medical care accounting for 20% of the ER visits. If the number of uninsured goes up, ERs start to look like primary care faciltiites.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  81. Esther Massillon Ohio

    God forgive them they know not what they do

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  82. David

    The problem with the idea from Sean in Boylston MA is the same thing that's wrong with all Socialist ideas; they think that people will keep providing services without direct incentives to do so, and of course that's naive. There will simply be too few and too low quality doctors and nurses and medical researchers and medical technicians to satisfy the needs of the people if these providers are not paid what the market will bear for their services. That's what's happening in Europe and Canada, and it's a nightmare well beyond what we're experiencing here. It's simple human nature, and no government program can get around that. Sean should look into a book called The Business of Health, or for that matter, anything written by Milton Friedman.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  83. dixie

    No, we are are not surviving now. There is so much publicity given to the negative side of change that truth seems to escape the media, once again. Republicans stand to lose a lot of pocket money,along with their friends,i mean,constituants. This ride has been sweet, to sweet to give up without a fight, so it's "lie lie lie we must stop the reform bill. we have all the money and we wont give it back"..how long can you leave the door to the vault open for all to help themselves? dixie, citrus heights, CA.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  84. Michael, MN

    The government will always run on...One of the issues that I see here is that government run health care is good for Congress but not for us. As a diabetic, my life is based on my insurance and what I can afford. I just watched my premiums increase by 25% and my co-pay go from $20 to 20% of the office bill. I listen to the arguments from both sides and I wish we could get someone dying due to lack of medical insurance in front of Congress and the US and say " This is what you want – my death". What ever happened to caring about our fellow man? What ever happened to doing the right thing? Instead we preach about God and why I must believe and with the same breath tell the rest that they deserve to die. No one deserves to die.

    I dont agree with Obama (though I voted for him and will again) with using scare tactics but that is the business of Government. No one listens when the message is given with truth and compassion – only fear, anger and rage gets people's attention.

    This is why I fight for the underdog and keep hope alive.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  85. Thomas Boyle

    This country can not surive without a national health care plan, Costs will increase because the people that run the present large health care corporations make hundreds of millions of dollars in stock options and they in turn are goverened by hedge fund investors that require substancial profits. The present sitution based on past practice require these health corporations to place profit before the health of the american people and if we allow this to continue America will not surive.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  86. Bob Ferrucci

    Nothing but fear & bullying one and fear the next bulling......just listen to them. I find it are to believe. Oh I forgot one "Rush-we must do it now" that's how they got the 780 B.

    Get the truth out Jack its what this country needs. Nothing special just the truth.

    Thanks Bob

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  87. Jeff Duveneck

    While it's true health care insurance is out of control. I don't think the country will go bankrupt because of it. The free market and supply and demand will keep costs in check. The bill that is in the Senate now and the one that Obama is pushing for does not do enough to make young people sign up and pay premiums and since people cannot be turned down for pre-existing conditions, a young person or most people will simply wait until they have a medical condition, then they will pay the $750 fine for not signing up and get all the medical care they need. The math is simple, if a young person can go 10 or 20 years and not pay $3500 per year that's $70,000 in premiums he/she should have paid. What a deal to spend $750 to save $70,000 what fool wouldn't do that?

    Finally the U.S. economy is in a mess, the worst since the depression, there's 10% unemployment, we are stuck in two wars and the country is in debt. Our Congress and President have no business dealing with the health care mess at this time, they need to focus on the problems at hand, they don't need to create more debt and another huge government entitlement. The Congress and President need to listen to the people of this country.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  88. Jan Lancaster

    I have grown weary of hoping that the people of the U. S. will wake up and realize what is happening to this country. We are so politically divided that it is almost impossible to accomplish anything in Washington. Our President is treated with disrespect...referred to as Obama, no one thinks about what is best for the country and its people anymore,,,,,everything is my team (or party.) When will our legislators do the job that they were elected to do.....If they would simply do what is right and stop worrying about offending a campaign contributor, three-fourths of the problems that this country faces could be resolved, including healthcare reform. My advice to them is to GROW UP! Put aside your egos and get to work. This country is going down the tubes while pompous little people guard their turf instead of doing the job they were elected to do.

    This comment is mild compared to what I really think.

    I thank God that I am old enough to remember the days when Americans felt, "United we stand." I can't help but wonder what our founding fathers would have to say if they could witness the childish bullying, pouting and backstabbing that goes on in Congress.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  89. Gene

    It has become more apparent every day. we need less of Professor Obama trying to CHANGE our system and our using American History lessons to guide us through this crisis. . I can't believe a Christian, as he professes wants to destroy the American way which our friends and family have fought and died for over 250 years in one swoop. Instead of radically overhauling our constitution. we need to fix what we have first. Then see what needs to be corrected. Not make a mess and then try to fix it. More and more Americans are see this radical man as he is..... He has become the enemy of Liberty and Freedom and the American way.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  90. Ryan

    So let's see, just a few years ago Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid were the future time bombs that would bankrupt the Federal government (which I whole heartily believe) and now, because it is political expedient (i.e. it suits Obama's rhetoric), a health care reform bill that is 2000 pages, filed with pork and EXPANDS Medicare will keep the government solvent... politics and Washington DC solutions are getting problematic. I'd like to see a CBO report on what would happen to our deficit if we removed half of the US government. I suspect that 95% of Americans wouldn't miss a beat and we'd reduce the deficit.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  91. Tony

    My oppinion, without healthcare reform the US will not only go into another ression, it will go into a deep depression that will be the down fall of the US... If we fail now we will be a second rate country. The republicans need to say yes once in a while....

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  92. Wayne

    Anyone who has been to a doctor, hospital, or dentist in the past ten years, and has had to deal with insurance companies realizes that some intervention is needed. I just found that a new porcelain crown which I need to replace the "permanent" crown that fell apart after five years will cost three times the original. Half of what my motorcycle cost, one tenth of what my new car cost. A one night stay in the hospital two years ago cost my wife $50,000. What is the point of living in a time where medical technology is at its highest, yet no one can afford it. Also, what is the point of having a government that cannot take care of the people that vote them in and pay their salaries. The Republican stand against health care reform, due to its cost, is a black eye to liberty itself.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  93. Yehudi Zenny

    Such a massive bill that inpact 1/6 of US economy Why Democrate and Sen Reid hiding this bill. As obama had promised to have an open live disscion on PBS but it looks they have Back room deal with health care industry that what they are trying to hide.

    I agree with DEAN this bill has to be withdraw

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  94. Frank - Columbus OH

    No – plain and simple. Americans need to pull their heads out of the sand. Of course most Americans may oppose a system that gives them more than they ever could afford to pay for themselves. So they dump it on the future generations. And as the population age curve increases it can only get worse. The only answer is to address the problem – head on. Of course – an entrenched trillion dollar industry is opposed to any change – so it will be difficult. Everyone needs to put skin into the game – which means taking more personal responsibility for your own health (life style changes), keeping better informed and working with the the healthcare providers to avoid unnecessary costs, treatments, drugs, etc. and being able to accept that eventually you will die – and to die with dignity and courage is far better than being kept alive for a few additional months in deteriorating drug induced conditions or extra ordinary surgical procedures that accounts for the majority of your lifetime medical costs.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  95. michael

    I don't really know if health care will survive without reform but I do know because of the rising cost of health care the choices I use to enjoy with multiple health care plans have gone from 10 to 2, One hmo and one ppo! Jack we need change.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  96. Brian Moser

    I live in Gresham Oregon. No doubt without health care reform it is just a matter of time and the United States will fail. What I don't understand is we as Americans are so caring and will go out of are way to help others " in other countries" but why are we so unwilling to help are fellow Americans who are without health care among other things? What would God do? I know do you? It's not right that in this Great Country that we have so many people that die each year because they can't get the health care they need. By the way I have insurance.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  97. gary, west linn or

    Much of the growing opposition to this healthcare bill is coming from elderly liberals who object to spiraling insurance premiums, lack of control over pharmaceuticals, and forcing low income people to buy insurance. Plus, all of us should be disgusted about how long it's taken Washington to get nowhere; then have the dems tell us it's better than nothing.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  98. Zoe


    So much dishonesty in government is keeping this great nation from doing the right thing at the right time.

    Forget the health care topic, how is the U.S. to survive with the enormous amount of debt it is holding?

    In a few words, it can't.

    To link the burden of our enormous debt directly to health care reform seems timely. What strikes me the most is the political game our elected officials continue to play in D.C. and how that "IS" the real problem. Whether or not this great nation will survive is dependent upon ALL of us doing the right thing in every moment of our lives. Are we up to this challenge? You're darn right we are.

    Wake-up everyone, greed is the old worn-out pattern. Look at the economic disarray greed has birthed in this country. Even with health care reform, the political game is a strong as ever and extremely disappointing.

    Where is the real change we need, where is the real change we voted into office?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  99. Mike

    Yes, but for how long?? The GOOD jobless rate is all that matters in this. How much health care will MOST people get from their employer when they are working 10-20 hours per week at multiple jobs? Exactly who do people think will pay for that, and why do people believe that things are somehow going to be fairer by not doing anything?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  100. Larry

    Health Care Reform is an imperative.

    It's beginning to sound like a conspiracy of the rich to purge society of the ill and infirmed. (the same reason the rich are against Immigration Reform)
    Those pesky poor wont be crowding the Dr's office schedule of affect their ability to to schedule their plastic surgery since the poor will finally have access to care.
    Will America survive? Most of us will but many wont.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  101. Trevor Antonio

    Health Care Reform with out a public option is not reform at all. We have to put serious caps on the premiums insurance companies can charge and guarantee health care for the poor/underinsured or they will end up in emergency rooms and, as is currently the case, the taxpayers foot the bill. Our current system is socialized health care at it's worst! Our economy, and the average taxpayer cannot afford the burden of not reforming this broken system.

    -Trevor Antonio
    San Diego, CA

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  102. Dan

    I had a slight hope for real reform even though I knew the Repubs would do everything they could to protect their cash cow, the insurance scam industry. But I did not realize we had so many ultra right wing "democrats" (only a very naive person would call them "moderates). Those DINO's have sabatoged reform in a way no republican could – they misrepresent real democratic prinicples. At least we know upfront that the Repubs are against the people and do everything for their corporate paymasters. Nelson and Lieberman are just the same and so are not real democrats. Shame on them for lying to their constituents (Liebermans constituents are 70% in favor of single payer!).

    Will the US "survive?" Sure it will. But many of it's citizens will not. As in the last several decades, hundreds of thousands of people are going to die and/or go broke because of they can't get health care or can't pay for it. The current "reform" is nothing more than a boondoggle for the insurance scam industry. So disgusting. While 27 other countries supply excellent health care for their citizens, the US says 'your on your own."

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  103. Peter - Sturbridge, MA

    America will survive, but 40,000 preventable deaths per year will occur among the millions who will continue without health insurance. it is improbable to enjoy life and the pursuit of happiness (as we Americans assume to be our right) without health. All other industrial nations assume health care is a right,but we consider it a privilege.. Survival maybe,but not justice.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  104. Dave

    America can survive, yes, but we will see more and more small businesses like mine go under because we either pay for employee health insurance and can't give raises or we don't offer it and lose employees to the big corporations which can cover the health care costs.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  105. neuroperson

    1. Health care is NOT a consitutional right, but as a civilized and prosperous society it seems appropriate that we have national health care.
    2. However, current Health Care is already too expensive, Obama's plan is absurd in too many ways to mention, so to have National Coverage we would need legitimate health care/cost reform, which has nothing to do wih the current bill.

    Here are ways to reduce cost/affordability of Health Care so that a National Coverage would be feasible:
    1. National Tort Reform (good luck with that since the Trial Lawyers Association own the Democratic Party!)
    2. Allow Inusrance companies to compete over state lines, BUT mandate they cannot deny based on pre-existing conditions.
    3. Individuals should manage thier own health insurance just like any other commodity, and employers should not have to bear this burden, it is slowly killing our economy.
    4. Medicare should probably be abolished but at the least raised to 70 yrs of age, given current life expectancies
    5. National "Catastrophic Care" (Hospital) should be covered for everyone, especially those not on a plan.
    6. A significant increase in flexible Health Spending Accounts to promote health, diet, exercise, whatever, which would help health and the economy.
    7. Otherwise we are headed to Canada, France, England systems where you wait for ok care, or pay cash for good quick care and it costs everyone alot.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  106. Dereck Barber

    Only in an American world could people get misty eyed at a ball game listening to their countries anthem, turn into friends due to the love of the same team with a round of beers, and will still not feel obligated to care if their new friend lost a breathe and fell faint five seats over unless they blocked there route to the bathroom. As hollow as this reality would be, America would devalue it's potential and need if she didn't take care of her own first! So NO!, It wouldn't even be America, if it didn't develop into progressive better.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  107. Ramiro

    Yes, I believe we can survive without health care reform in the short term. The longer we hold out on getting this done, the more expensive or damaging it will be to this country. For that reason alone, we should get this done now. Do I need to mention how many people are still uninsured or denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions?

    Ramiro in Waukesha, WI

    December 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  108. Trevor Antonio

    We have to put serious caps on the premiums insurance companies can charge and guarantee health care for the poor/underinsured or they will end up in emergency rooms and, as is currently the case, the taxpayers foot the bill. Our current system is socialized health care at it's worst! Our economy, and the average taxpayer cannot afford the burden of not reforming this broken system.

    -Trevor Antonio
    San Diego, CA

    December 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  109. Mark Sarasota FL

    No the country can't survive without healthcare reform. What the last year has demonstrated is that we need reform of congress before there is an chance of healthcare reform or any other meaningful chance of a future for the US. Until we get congress out of the pockets of banks, insurance companies & other corporate interests Americans will continue to move toward a third world existance. The president should have run as an idependent because his party certainly doesn't support him. He was elected because people thought he could fix Washington, but he cannot and os starting to just cover his own butt instead of changing the status quo. It is probably time for a new party that represents US citizens that excludes anyone that has anything ro do with the current legislative system.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  110. Douglas - Erlanger, Kentucky

    Who are these dittoheads we call Senators?? It's a sad day in a capitalist society when one realizes that we are really a corporatist nation. Ban all "contributions" from lobbists and you might get something done in this country!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  111. Right Leaning Independent

    Obama already bankrupted the country with all of his spending! What a hypocrite to come out and act like Health Care costs are going to bankrupt us! Bush started it and Obama did not want to be outdone so he quadrupled the deficit! He makes Bush look stingy! If the government were held accountable like regular Americans, the Chinese would cut their credit line to zero, the White House would be foreclosed on and Air Force One would be repoed by now!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  112. Homeless D

    I don't think it will just be the lack of health care reform that will do us in. But it will go a long way to bankrupting not only those who have the temerity to get sick, but our country as well.

    I think our country cannot survive the present state of affairs, not solely the lack of health care reform. We do not 'make' anything, and we are essentially a service economy, which means we are just moving "money" (not even real money, just paper) from one person to another. THAT is what our country cannot survive!

    But without health care reform we will not be able to pay the doctors when the ecponomy makes us sick!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  113. Randy Sea. Wa.

    Health care reform. What does that really mean? We need it, but if we rush it ,it will be a bigger problem. This country cannot do without it. Do we have to overhaul the whole program or can we make some needed changes? Don't insurance companies have an "in" with this problem? They are currently in the business. Why don't we just supplement these companies with funds allocated for this "reform" and add additional critical requirements that have the potential to eliminate companies that do not follow federal mandates. This can potentially eliminate misappropiation of funds thus allowing everyone to aquire insurance. For those who cannot afford even the basic healthcare they automaticly qualify for federal backed grants allocated by those that opt out and use there own company policies. This is of course only relevant if congress is accounting for each and every citizen. Perhaps insurance can,or congress can, pressure doctors and hospitals to tighten up thier fees so over charging for services ,i.e. Xrays ,doctor visits,simple emergency room visits, which seem to be the major part of most visits. They could initiate a program that reaches all of america educating us on how to deal with some of the simpler injuries,ailments, that clog our doctors offices.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  114. John

    First of all the people that we have elected that "work for us" are completely out of touch. They have the best health benefits that money can buy. And they are deciding what is best for the rest of us? Secondly, we should fix what is wrong with the current system, not add more government involvment. Insurance executives don't need to make $20 million per year. Put the proper preventative care measures into place. Provide coverage for those that truely cannot provide for themselves. Neither party is correct on healthcare. If any of them truly cared about the promises that they made to get elected, they would work together to solve the problem for the common good.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  115. Terry-Illinois

    I absolutely agree with the President! This country cannot keep bailing out the large industries, and with the cost of healthcare rising and the big Insurance and Healthcare companies sucking every penny out of Americans and giving very little back, what can our Government do.? If the people of this country would stop allowing the Republicans and the big Insurance industry to stop frightening them then they would also understand the important need for Healthcare Reform and how bad it is needed right now!

    I work with our Veterans in the VA and they are already getting "Government controled healthcare – and good healthcare it is too! Our country's citizens need to wake up and stop being ignorant on this topic!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  116. Alan Silker

    Jack–it's really hard to tell which is going to do us in quicker–doing nothing for now, or inacting the Democratic Party "Bill". I still haven't seen any real "facts" to support the Bill, or to support the President's contention. Obviously, Health care is about as "broke" as the oil industry and every other greedy interest in this country that is only after the almighty dollar. If someone would just put some Q&A talking points on paper and then debate those points maybe we could make progress-but, I tried to wade thru the 1,000 page bill and gave up finding any answers......

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  117. Henya, Ca

    I will like to know who is coming up with those questions? Any way No we will not survive without health care reform we must pass it, especially with more people diagnosed with life treating disease, no health care or even preventative care, it should beoffered to all US citizen, so we all pay for it now any way, I want to add I’m sick and tired of the entire right wing Republicans and one Joe Lieberman, They just want to kill everything the President trying to do, I supported our President from day one and will continue to do so,

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  118. Albert B. Johnson

    As one who has worked in healthcare across the total continuum of care delivery systems for over 25 years, we can not as a society survive without real heatlhcare reform, though this country most likely would do so.

    Healthcare should never have been made a political issue, it is a rights issue. What is so hard to understand? PEOPLE ARE DYING AND SUFFERING. Not due to lack of the availability of care but because of the profit dollar attached to NOT giving them access to healthcare they need have life. In some societies they would call this genocide.

    Everytime i hear a politician say there is no easy answer to this issue I want to kick-in my flat screen. this is how you fix it. Each congressperson and their families has to carry the same level of healthcare as the the average working family in the district they represent, or better, no healthcare as do 40 million other americans until they come up with a solution. Then maybe we may come again into our humanity.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  119. Tom Bachman Wexford PA

    Please stop this alarmist nonsense. Did the Dems in Congress se data from East Anglia U. to plan this mess, also??
    Recall the New Ice Age of the 1970's?? ZPG and the population bomb?? Y2K???
    All manufactured crises designed to grow government. Buying votes with jobs.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  120. Donald in CA

    No, but let the folks who dont have reasonable or no health insurance worry about it. The republicans want the broken system to stay the same, so let the poor folks who support their tired agenda deal with it. Folks cant wait til the republicans get back in office forgetting who got us in this mess the past eight years. Everybody for himself and God for us all is my new motto.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  121. Carmen in Calif

    No,we can not. Government is messy business. I go to sleep at night cursing the likes of Lieberman ,Nelson, the Republicans and Fox so called news for their shortsightedness, but I think we need this frame work to move ahead. I hope the Congress can get this done. I'm self employed with a pre-existiting and happy my husband is employed for now, but we have seen our insurance rates go up more than his raises over the last decade. I just get so frustrated ......

    December 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  122. Jason Blakeslee, MI

    All I have is questions. How does anything ever get done in our Congress with everything being so divided across party lines? Do all the Republicans really think this is a horrible bill, or are they just trying to make Obama fail? What are they trying to do with a fillabuster, or having 767 pages read aloud to stall the proceedings? Do they think it's better to do nothing??

    December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  123. Doug

    So this is what it has come to: Obama must have his way, so he will threaten the country to get it done. It seems to me that if he truly was a man of his word, he would look to a bi-partisan solution instead of ramming a crappy bill that nobody, including himself, even understands. The bi-partisan solution should take months and months to work through, in order to make sure it is right from a fiscal standpoint, as well as for what it offers to all Americans. OBAMA – YOU ARE GETTING EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESERVE!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  124. Marty Blonstein

    The Democrats were elected to run the country and the
    Republicans resent that victory so much that they would prefer
    to shut the country down in order to see Obama fail so they could
    get their way. What they should do is what Howard Dean
    recommends...go to reconciliation...pass single payer and be
    done with it. Who cares what the GOP thinks !! They will hate
    Obama and try to frustrate him whatever he does. We are the
    greatest country in the world and every citizen should have
    the same health care as members of Congress, We waste a
    lot of money on defense and space programs and foreign aid,
    but neglect our own people. Cheney, Palin, Kantor, Demint,
    Bachmann and their ilk are enemies of the common people.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  125. Marion/Alabama

    Jack,you mean taking my money to pay for those lazy,worthless,and unwashed who made bad choices and did not finish High School,got in trouble with the law,Got pergnant,or Divorced and had to take a job with out Medical Benefits? Of course we will survive with out health care reform by force of the government option.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  126. Mike

    Will America go broke before or after the President allows us to read it?

    December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  127. Garfield from Canada

    .Jack what difference would it make now? The bill under discussion now is nothing but extra big pay for the insurance providers. Just think gaining 30 million plus new customers without having to working on it at all.

    Americans just love to say Canada's public system is no good well Jack just a few short years ago we in Canada looked for the greatest Canadian and a man by the name of Tommy Douglas won, why, because he is known as the father of the Canadian Health Care System and no one was even close to him. That should say it all

    December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  128. Yehudi Zenny

    Will go bankrupt What is American stuid Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Just offered $100 billion to poor country. O I forgot O BUM is running printing press
    New city, New jersey , Cal they need money why not print and give them

    December 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  129. HARRY VET

    Are the American people aware of how many people come under some form of government health care? (i:e government employees,
    federal and state, teachers, veterans etc.)

    December 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  130. Mark Mitchell

    The facts are indisputable that in the global economy of the 21st century for jobs to be located in the US our labor costs must be more competitve vs. other nations. If all the other industrialized nations provide healthcare to their citizens and remove that burden from their corporations how can the US companies compete against that. Healthcare costs conservatively add 20% to US labor costs – the US cannot attract industry and investment with that kind of additional cost. Foolish people can state that they just want things to stay the same, but guess what, the US has been hemorraging jobs to countries with lower labor costs (partially due to healthcare) for 20 years now. If we do not become competitive in terms of labor costs the decline of the US economy will continue until 10 years from now folks will reallize what a mistake it was not to reform healthcare now.

    The US political system unfortunately is not equipped to enable the taking of necessary steps until situations become a crisis. I feel for our country and our children who will grow up without having the opportunity to compete globally due to our current short-sightedness and political idealogies.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  131. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Sure, travel to Mexico or Canada, it's cheaper.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  132. GovtCorruption,TX

    America needs reform to our medical care, as a matter of fact why don't we have the same opportunity to get in the same pool as members of congress do? Sen. Eric Cantor replied to a constituent when asked, " how can I get health care like you? Cantor, replied, "get a government job!" Okay! Republicans already said they would get into the same insurance plan that they pass to the public, HEY, PUBLIC OPTION!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  133. Matt

    ONly a Sith Lord deals in absolutes!. Come on Mr. Obama. This is the United States of America man. We survived Pearl, We survived 911, heck we even survived bird and swine flu. The only thing thats going to make us go bankrupt is your careless massive liberal spending. This health care bill is so watered down its useless. All its good for is spending more money. Your only in it for a party and moral victory at this point so it wont make you look stupid only 1 year into your presidency.
    Com On Man!!!!!

    thanks Caff

    December 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  134. Joseph

    The question is: Can America survive without healthcare reform?
    The answer is: Healthcare reform, as it is put forth now, would be the thing to really kill us all off. It is woprse than a bad idea, it could be the thing to bankrupt the government. I've lived in canada and Sweden, and I know for a fact that the US has THE BEST healthcare in the world, and the highest cancer survival rates in ther WORLD.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  135. jim Blevins

    No. The only question is how long it takes before we hit even worse economic problems. Worse, the most recent versions of the fix probably aren't enough.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    December 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  136. Joe C.

    Real reform needs to be enacted; Tort reform, allow Medicare to negotiate cheaper drug prices with manufacturers or import from Canada, allow cross state competition for insurance plans, standardize and electonify medical and insurance records, step up insurance fraud identification and prosecution. Start there and watch the costs drop. STOP TRYING TO FIX EVERYTHING WITH ONE MASSIVE BILL THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO READ AND EVEN MORE IMPOSSIBLE TO ENACT!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  137. Terry from Illinois

    Can the American people afford to do nothing , to watch their insurance premiums skyrocket, to watch their jobs being outsourced while losing medical coverage, to watch Congress be filibustered by 1 or 2 that don't care about the American people enough to compromise ?


    December 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  138. Manny, Huntersville, NC

    Mita, Oak Park, MI
    Please, do not tell me that this bill as is does not add to the deficit. Let me tell you; IT DOES
    Please do not consider the first ten years... this is deceitful. Why dont you take the 10 years after 2011. They are playing with numbers and insulting our intelligence. Please be fair and tell the Senate not to lie to us.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  139. Pam

    IE, what are the hidden costs of not finding a solution to health care. Obama is focussing on domestic issues but still has his eye on international relations... and I think it is exciting and a good thing. Take care of Americans.... while looking at international relations democratically. US leadership in the world is enhanced by this President. It makes me think that one day we can have security and concentrate on fixing poverty and failed nations ... as an international community. OK – I am dreaming a little but even if it takes a few more hundred years until we keep having a major war every fifty years.... we need to take these steps. Spending tax payers money on heath care instead of war is a step in the right direction as far as I am concerned.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  140. Just Say No to Socialism

    America cant and wont survive with this healthcare reform. Healthcare needs some reform but it needs to be done in the private sector and center around costs. Government management of programs, especially cost management is a joke. The Federal Government needs to concentrate on getting the deficit under control and creating jobs. The helathcare reform has become a political liability for the democrats and they just want to pass something, anything to say they reformed healthcare. Harry Reid is a joke with they way he has handled this and the senate.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  141. John Myers

    The US will survive without healthcare reform, but it the quality of our lives in the future and the state of our nation will eventually have to drastically change! Your most recent poll which shows that most americans are now opposed to healthcare reform is most probably a product of Americans being overwhelmed by an overload of data. Do we really need healthcare or not? Are we going to collapse as a country with out? etc.... The real questions we should be asking are what are these bozos in congress doing all day long while the average american loses his or her home, job, healthcare, etc,..why does every other western power in the world provide healthcare to their citizens and we do not, and why is our military budget so large when we cannot even provide healthcare for so many of the citizens that our military are sworn to protect in the first place? Maybe if we imposed term limits on congress and maybe if we made their offices more about what they should be, PUBLIC SERVICE, and abolished their FREE healthcare, their LARGE salaries (they should work for free if they want the job), their business connections making it illegal to EVER profit from relationships they made while in office, and their insane retirement plans then just maybe we would all have decent, affordable healthcare!!!!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  142. hobo62

    Isn't it a basic human right to be able to medical care when needed. Every major country except the USA has medical care for all. Guess, they don't have the Republican party or ole Joe Aetna.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |

    You know. I agree, our current system/costs are not sustainable. We have some pretty smart people in this country. These really smart people need to get together and figure something out that everyone likes instead of doing nothing. Why can't we learn from what other countries have done successfully and not so successfully and come up w/something great? I can't believe this great country full of great people can't create a great healthcare system for all. We don't have to have a public option, just need to drop the cost and make care more readily available for everyone.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  144. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    The USA can survive without health care reform but only as a pathetic caricature of a progressive, caring society. The sellfishness of those who absolutely refuse to share amongst all citizens the enormous cost of health care, and who let millions go partly or wholly uninsured, is a tribute to the horrible form of USA capitalism which has evolved to benefit only the rich.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  145. Tony

    The problem with the entire "debate" is that Congress and the President do not have the political guts to do what must be done. There are no plans for tort reform. Does anyone understand what costs are added to health care simply to CYA the health providers?

    Everyone wants to politicize the problem rather than address the real "economics" of health care.

    I keep hearing that we should model our system after the UK, Canada or Cuba (are you kidding?). Here's the real test for me. If these systems are so good, when the last time any of these countries made a useful medical breakthrough?

    If Americans want a mediocre system with under-qualified medical care providers, then passing this bill now is ok for you. If you want a world-class medical system, then demand that Congress take a step back and focus on real reform for the future. It's hard work and Congress isn't used to it, but tell them their jobs are on the line next November.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  146. JBarrett, Rhode Island

    The US can't survive without health care reform, and we will see this as soon as this empty shell of a reform bill is passed. No public option, no Medicare for those over 55, no closing the prescription donut hole...once again our lives – and this time, our health – have been hijacked by the insurance industry. I haven't heard one single thing about the government imposing restrictions on the amounts an insurance company can charge people with pre-existing conditions, only that they can't exclude them from coverage. I ask you, Jack, what difference does it make that a plan is available if it's out of reach financially to anyone with a pre-existing condition. This congress is useless and anti-American. This government will give our tax money to anyone – ANYONE – but the hard working Americans it's taken from.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  147. Martin Moore

    US will not survive with or without this bill. The grim reality of baby boom retirement looms on the horizon. The sacrifices that are nessasary to survive the impending left wing entitlement debt bomb are forgien to the culture of this generation.

    Incredibly, they are trying to adding entitlements!
    Talk about being clueless, or worse.....knowly throwing the last straw of debt on Americas back.

    My prediction:
    1) US borrowing will continue to rise no matter which party is in power.
    2) Due to the lack of America fiscal discipline, confidence in the US dollar will continue to fall, until a broad panic ensues.

    3) The value of the dollar will fall to practically nothing.

    At that point anyone who is in power will be able to justify practically anything, and the people will willingly grant them the power, just as Hitler achieved his power initially through the ballot box, a fact of which the generation of Americans are blissfully ignorant.

    All bets are off at that point.. "Constitution"? Words on paper have little meaning when spoiled brats who are used to getting what they want suddenly find themselves with nothing.

    God help us.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  148. George St. George

    Survive without health care reform?...sure Sir Jack...we've been doing that for years...that's what the Insurance Industry and the Republican Party apparently want us to continue to do...of course there are tens of thousands of us who don't survive but thats also apparently ok...because they don't vote?...when are the Democrate and Independent Parties going to stand up...we are supposed to be the parties that care for those who don't have but we are not standing up for them...instead we are bowing to those who do have and filling their coffers...look to your representatives and see how they voted for your needs and the needs of the thousands who have to stand in line for health care from mobile clinics provided by those Americans who still care!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  149. James - Inland Empire

    sure, the USA will survive, but many of its citizens won't.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  150. Darrell

    I can tell you here in Canada we would absolutley go bankrupt without our health care system, that is properly run by our Government and hard to think that the US can survive without a huge reform. We don't have a perfect system but we have a pretty darn good one that I would not want loose

    December 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  151. Bruce

    If you are not a CEO, Wall-Street banker or an elected official in Washington..........NO

    December 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  152. Phil of Licking Co, Ohio

    The insurance industry has been running adds on TV and radio that has convinced people that the health care reform is bad. The Republicans have taken the position of do nothing but criticize any and all efforts to reform the system. So, of course, the polls will show that American have lost interest in reform. But for the uninsured, for persons with per-existing conditions, and people who have had to declare bankruptcy because they cannot afford the medical treatment, they most certainly support reform. But they don't have the big bucks to pad the pockets of the politicians. Our democracy is dysfunctional!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  153. Robert G. Shircliff

    There are those that will,those that won't,and those that can't.., Work!. Problem is.., the democrats never seem to make the distinction. They never help the middle class ..,Instead the democrats always push to help those that won't. ( work ) . Isn;t that why we call them bleeding hearts? Well I'm bleeding now and I'.m losing every thing I ever worked for ! Educated beyond their intellegence I suppose. Have these idiots ever balanced a check book in their life?Get off my back government! Get real!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  154. Jim

    Of course it is unsustainable! That was what was argued when congress first proposed Medicare would only cost $12 billion in total. Now we are looking to cut $500 billion from that same $12 billion program. The only way to solve this is to get employers to stop offering their employees healthcare and let the individual consumer purchase with tax credits. People will adjust their policies and make better life decisions. Yes Jack, it comes down to personal responsibility.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  155. sundy kani

    Obama selling?? no opinion in that , media. Last year while voting on state issues, I told my husband, a small business owner,
    that we have to support employers offering health insurance to their employees.. he sat down with me and did the math. We can barely afford what we do. offer. 12/09 we still offer insurance to our employees but may not be able to for long if health care reform does not pass in congress.
    I see people daily who have lost their jobs and I want to refer them for
    further testing.. pt answers "Sorry doc, I just can't go right now, no job and no insurance... but you can loose your sight! " I guess they will be on disabilty insurance... Either way as I see it ,we pay. I see what Obama is talking about daily.... just pass the reform...

    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  156. chris

    Someone asked Pelosi if requiring American citizens to purchase health insurance is constitutional, her response was, "Are you kidding?" I would like to know the legal answer to this question.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  157. Annie, Atlanta

    No, it can’t, and neither can its citizens. But do you think Congress or the President give a darn? No. They’re corporate owned. Now “we the people” have to figure out how “buy” them back.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  158. jose archuleta

    We do need Health reform in this country. I am lucky because i retired from the Feds and I have public opition. Every year I can pick what kind of insurance I need at at what cost all Americans should have that opition. Insurance is going to cost more next year.


    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  159. Reform, Lansing, MI

    Reform? Congress needs for reform their own selfs!!! Please, congress just wants the insurance money in their own grubby hands to spend on something stupid!!!!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  160. Lewis

    Yes we can survive. Another thing we can do without are the corrupt executive and legislative branches (at least the players). Now Obama creates a list of critics and goes after people that disagree, shades of Richard Nixon!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  161. Rod, IL

    I for one am for reform, meaning cut the fraud out of the system, get the drug manufactures to charge resonable prices. Many of them are given grants (tax payer money) to develope these wonderful new drugs we use. Once they are ready they charge outragious prices to recoup the cost (grant money) that they got from the tax payers and then some. Why do all the insurance companies have to create mountains of forms for each company. This is a huge expense that could all be done electronically now. Notice the above items could save huge amounts of waste and money and we have not expanded anything or added any unwanted government take over. It was said the government doesn't want to run GM because the ydon't have the experience, what makes health insurance any different? I don't see alot of experts taking upi the seats in Washington on health insurance.
    The plan being debated is a joke and will only lead to higher costs for all and still keep health insurance (NOT HEALTH CARE) out of reach for millions of people.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  162. the little old lady in Kansas

    Yes, we will go bankrupt if we can't rein in the costs of "healthcare" in this country. A better question right now is should this current health care bill be passed (whatever it is) or should it be re-vamped before passage?
    I believed Obama when he said a bill had to be passed this year. Now I don't. Just some more political scare tactics. Go back to the drawing board!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  163. Doug

    The legislation currently on offer in the Senate has turned from a great and positive thing into Occam's Razor for the Democrats due to the efforts of a handful of (pick your adjectives) doing all they can to derail meaningful and needed reforms.
    It is now damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they don't pass something, it's HillaryCare redux. If they do pass this thing as currently proposed, the only winner here is the insurance industry.
    Either way, the Dems lose Congress over this.
    We're left with the South Park Paradox, which do you prefer (and I paraphrase), a turd sandwich or a giant feminine hygienic device frequently filled with a vinegar and water solution.
    And either way, the Republicans win. It is either stopped outright, sent back for rewrite and further delayed, or the current bad bill that rewards only the insurance companies goes to the president's desk for signature or veto.
    If he vetoes, again the Republicans win and get the rights to stand around thumping their chests as they cry out "I told you so".
    And just think, the bill has been watered down to its current weak form in hopes that just one Republican would come on board instead of simply blocking the thing to death and that was never going to happen in this universe.

    One more thought: It's time for Lieberman to go.
    See how nicely the Republicans treat him. See what happens to all of his seniority if he caucuses with the Republicans.
    Bye bye Joe and don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  164. Mark

    A democracy cannont exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. Alexander Tytler, British historian (1747 – 1813)

    December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  165. Evans Oseki, Oslo, Norway

    President Obama inspires us to great things but the republicans prevents us from achieving them. It`s all a GOP game Jack and they seem to be on top after eight woeful years. Funny when loosers end up setting the agenda! All of the presidents economic team can`t be dummies.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  166. Debbie

    First and foremost, why doesn't Congress investigate the millions that are wasted on Medicare fraud? That's a huge amount of money. Second, why doesn't Congress and the rest of the yahoos in DC pay into the system as well? We are funding their healthcare and that's not fair to the people. The country will not go bankrupt without Obama's healthcare reform, the country will go bankrupt if other spending isn't brought under control, such as the huge bailouts given without stipulations and then the bonuses to the upper eschelon. That is our hard earned tax dollars and yet they want more? Give me a break, impeach this president asap or we are all doomed.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  167. Kari

    The state of health is not great but making it more expensive will not make it better. Prime example is the no pre-existing condition denial idea. This will allow everyone to wait until their doctor tells them they have cancer before they will go get insurance because they know they can't be denied. This could not be called insurance because insurance is priced based upon the percentage chance of a claim, not for 100% chance of a claim.

    Here is an example:

    If homeowners insurance on a $300,000 house is $1000 per year and preexisting conditions could not be denied then a homeowner standing in his burning house could call his insurance agent and get a $1000 premium on a policy which is guaranteed to be a $300,000 claim for the insurance company. If this was allowed then the insurance companies would need to raise everyone's premiums to cover the losses which will be engineered into the system. This is simple undeniable logic which even the thickest liberal can understand!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  168. frank hanhisalo reno nv

    i do not believe anyone in thiscountry wants to deny health care to someone that needs it . however this bill is not it . 2000 pages of what ?
    special deals , buyouts , outright bribes and this is what we would guess is in there. what else is really in there . harry scumbag reid is not letting anyone see it.
    health care reform is what we are supposed to be doing.
    again, i don't believe this is it.
    and whoever started the comment " we've got to enact something, even if its not totally right" ought to be brought up on some sort of charges. (sounds like a community organizer type statement to me)
    we're going to go broke - hey sherlock "we are broke"

    December 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  169. Kim - Albuquerque, NM

    Jack, we need health reform and the package in the Senate is a piece of garbage. It's a give away to the insurance companies. We're going to fine our citizens for not buying health insurance that they can't afford? This is madness. The Republicans are more concerned with making the President look bad than passing any meaningful legislation. The blue dogs and that low life Lieberman are in the pockets of their insurance company masters. We keep reading in the media that the majority of citizens are against this package. What the main stream media is not saying is that a good 20-25% of those against this bill are against it because it doesn't go far enough. The majority of our citizens DO want health care reform. Without a public option there is no incentive for the insurance companies to keep premiums under control. We need a basic single payer system for basic health care needs. The insurance companies could still carve out a niche by supplying supplemental insurance for things the basic coverage wouldn't cover (elective surgery, dental, vision, etc.).

    December 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  170. Pat stokes

    It is mediciad that is hurting this country not medicare. people on medicare pay for their health care

    December 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  171. Jack

    It's far beyond health care now. Every facet of our society is not just crumbling, it's collapsing in on us.

    This is what we get for forgetting the lessons of the first depression/dustbowl/destruction of New ORleans/etc etc etc.

    If we didn't learn those vital lessons and pass them on, do we DESERVE to continue as we are? We'll just set ourselves up for an even worse crash 50 years on.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  172. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Question is Jack, can the 45,000 Americans who die every year because they do not have healthcare survive? I am disgusted with the Republicans & conservatives who are "pro-life" and "Christian" yet do not care that 45,000 Americans will die in 2009, like they do every year!

    Its disgusting how the GOP has continued its campaign of obstruction, of lies, fear and misinformation.

    GOP does not represent Americans, they are the representatives of Big Pharma and Big Insurance!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  173. Buck

    Many of you are bashing insurance companies for making a profit. Please do some research as to their profitability. According to Fortune Magazine, they are 35th most profitable business sector. Their profit margins are well under 5%. Microsoft's profit margin on it's sales of Windows software is said to be 25%. Sounds like the medical insurance companies should go into the software business.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  174. armineh johannes

    I think that those Americans who are against the public option of the health care reform do not know what they are missing out or they are mostly government employees who have insurance offered by the government! I lived in Europe for 25 years and enjoyed the human public insurance system they are offering – I can tell you that every time I go to the Dr. here – I am still shocked when I hear that the first question is about what insurance I have or do not have!!! It is totally inhuman to treat people this way. For once we have a President who has a heart and understands the deep issues related with the lack of a government run health care – Please do not turn your backs on him – he is offering us the opportunity of a lifetime on a golden platter. Do not only reason in terms of dollars – but open your hearts a bit and put yourself in the place of those Americans who die every da because they are not getting the medical attention they should have!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  175. Dan


    Lets get Big Business and the Unions out of Congress, Senators and
    Obama's Pocket!

    The only way to keep them honest is TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let each State Reform their Health Care, NJ DID and it Works!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  176. Pam

    PS, I support sending the military into Afghanistan but not IRAQ although I supported the 1st gulf war

    December 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  177. Joe

    Wow. The cynicism is incredible! And warranted I suppose.

    We will probably not collapse as a society without healthcare expansion– if you don't want to call it reform – but we will suffer tremendously for it. The greed in protecting a failed system is overwhelming and is a reflection of our failing democracy in which corporate entities and political action blocks have more control over our governance than we do!

    Basically, we have a choice to gracefully face our problems by socializing (yes, I said it– SOCIALIZING) our health insurance sector. That will eliminate the most useless unproductive and wasteful sector of healthcare and then allow us to try and save the private delivery systems– if it makes sense to do so. Or we can watch as the PRIVATE sector kills millions in its greed and a violent change in our system comes.

    December 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  178. Don Paul

    We need universal one payer health care cradle to the grave. Lack of such had a large part in the demise of the auto industry and the costs of health insurance by our present insurures helps no one except the providers. Those going without insurance are subsidizing those that have been able so far to keep their coverage. After all, we have an army, navy, air force, coast guard etc. paid for by tax dolars, as well as police, firemen etc. by city, county, state and federal taxes. One payer health care should be a given. Every Christian will tell you we should treat every one as our neighbor and as we would want to be treated. Who would want his neighbor to suffer for lack of adequate medical care? Let congress show some backbone and get the health insurance companies and lobbyists out of business! A 90% income tax on lobbying income could be a good start!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  179. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    The penalty for not buying insurance is 95$ as well as if you cancel insurance once you get better...this is to assure that you do not end up paying for someone who acts irresponsibly in order to keep the lower costs for everyone!!!

    At one point, the country has to move forward and show having the back bone to face constructive and healthy changes!

    December 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  180. Jim


    Yeah, we can survive, it just means more pockets getting picked by the health insurance companies and health providers. You know, I'm beginning to think the best reform would be to just ban health insurance completely. Then the health providers really would have to compete for the 90% of Americans who couldn't afford to see a doctor or go to the hospital at current rates.

    Reno, Nevada

    December 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  181. Bennett

    To Braden of CA,

    One "Evil" of healthcare as it currently stands is that it doesn't cover everyone, and what coverage there is fights tooth and nail to avoid paying for perfectly legitimate medical expenses.

    Therefore in order to reform it, one has to expand it, and force those tasked with paying for it to damn well pay for it.

    Anyone arguing against bringing the US in line with every other developed nation on the planet needs their head examined – assuming they can find a shrink to do it for them here...


    December 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  182. John

    Healthcare is like a seat belt in a car. Sure you can drive a car without one, but when the unthinkable happens you are sure glad you had one. The US has survived this long without "GOOD" healthcare and even survived before healthcare, so I know it will survive. The real question is are we better off with it or without it. I vote for having a seat belt.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  183. Adam

    The U.S. will survive with the watered down version of reform currently being debated, but we'll be a watered down version of the country we live in.

    Without something more encompassing than what the Senate is offering, most of the remaining jobs in the US will shift overseas. I don't think the country will collapse, but the economy certainly will.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  184. John Ed Davis

    My openion is our President thinks our country may go bankrupt because of all the money he has thrown away and now he is going to blame that on the health care. I pray the healthcare does not pass. If it does our children and grand children will stay broke trying to pay for it.If the President thinks the plan is so great I suggest that he, the Congress and Senate go on the same plan. I don't think they are any better than the rest of the people in the USA.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  185. Victor Craig Vernon NJ

    Thanks to the confusion created by the Republicans, the US general pblic has lost sight of the important issue surrounding health care;
    . Millions of our citizens do no have ANY and the Health Insurance companies have been bilking, denying and cheating those who do have insurnace.
    We are the only country in the Western world that can make that statement. Congress is caught u in non-issiue issues like abottions and ilegal immigration. It is just the kind of crap that helped George W. Bush get re-elected.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  186. Scott O'Canada

    We heard those that claimed the sky was about to fall when we went to universal health care. And what has happened since. Balanced budgets, budget surpluses, a banking system that continues to prosper without a government bailout (because we had some regulatory checks) and health care for all without burdening employers. Hmmm. . good luck America.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  187. Bob

    The one thing Mr. Obama fails to memtion is that his agenda appears to be just that – put the United States into bankruptcy. Our democracy has worked for decades and will continue. Our health care is the best in the world. And if all who use the system were paying their fair share of the cost (yes – I am referring to the 10 million+ illegal immigrants in this country who are receiving all the benefits and paying none of the cost – not even income tax) the system would be much more afforadable for all of us. Congress – does the work impeachment mean anything to you?

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  188. Roger

    The fact that Medicare and Medicaid are threatening to bankrupt the country should make it obvious that government programs are the problem, not the solution. When Medicare was enacted in 1965, it poured millions of dollars of new money into the health care system without increasing the supply of healthcare available. Naturally, this caused healthcare costs to explode. It's ECON 101, the Law of Supply and Demand. Congress has been trying to repeal that law for years, without success. That's why Medicare actually costs 10 times as much as the experts estimated. We can't afford this plan even if the costs are accurate, can we afford it if it ends up costing 10 times as much as they say?

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  189. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    It is only even "possible" for the U.S.A. to survive if we have valid corruption reform. Healthcare is only one corrupted head on the beast, two other big ones (among many) are the two political parties and their minions (nepotistic appointments) who assure complicity. It all makes me sick. In this scenario the optomist must learn denial to survive.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  190. Felicity Cantrella -NYC

    When a US citizen dies of pneumonia, he dies of pneumonia, not lack of health care. All you people answering this question must have been born after the 1960's, since we didn't have health insurance in this country until then. Imagine that, and we survived. America needs to get back to pay as you go and then we won't be worrying about destroying the entire economy because a few of us get really bad health news (usually brought about by poor health practices to start with). Another thing: we are all going to die even after we have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for medicines and hospitals. Imagine that! Death is a natural occurrence for us all.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  191. Dave

    Reform is needed, but Americans need to realize that they cannot have something for nothing. Americans have to learn to take care of themselves and be prepared to pay if they want every test known to mankind. We can provide adequate health care for all (as most nationalized plans do) and provide extraordinary care for those who can pay.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  192. neoMarxist

    I think the prez is correct. We also need free government cell phones, cable television, cars, houses, nice clothes.....

    December 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  193. Nenad Mitovski, Serbia

    Current health care system keeps US economy ahead of the rest of the world. If you "reform" that system, you will ruin both your economy and your health care.
    Come to Serbia or any other (ex) socialist country and see how "free... for everyone" worked.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  194. Mike in SA

    The problem is that what is on the table now is NOT reform (some would call it de-form). When Pres. Obama says "Well I know it costs a lot, but look at what it will cost if we don't" completely ignores the fact that the CBO is making cost projections against what they have already projected the future budget to be. When the CBO says the second decade has huge deficit additions those additions are on top of what the CBO is projecting and what Obama is alluding to. So it would be catastrophe plus. Until they really decide to REFORM our health care system all we are going to do is make it worse by adding more people to it.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  195. Mike1952

    Of course we can survive without healthcare reform. BO's threat of bankruptcy is empty. He has no credibility on this topic. He is spending us into bankruptcy (as did his predecessor) and healthcare reform as now proposed will be the final nail in the coffin. The proposals so far are not about cost control they are about socializing the medical industry plain and simple. Regardless of cost to the government which means us taxpayers. The real question is why can't the democrats agree on a healthcare reform measure. Answer: because the far left loons are not represented to the extent in the senate that they are in the house. There are moderates in the senate that pay attention to the people who are resoundingly shouting NO to this and the previous proposals, including Mrs. Penazi's version.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  196. Ron Richardson

    Joe Lieberman has made a colossal demographic mistake. He is sticking a knife into the heart of the baby boom generation (55 to 65 and those that will enter soon). I doubt he will ever be elected again regardless of which party he is with.
    Thousands and thousands of people will die unnecessarily. Money is not the issue. Efficiency is what is required. Health costs will probably go down in the next ten years because of: preventive care; technology such as Nano; Cures; Etc

    December 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  197. Stretch

    The finances of our country are heading for a train wreck in a few years due to Medicare/ Medicaid and Social Security. Obama and company are just ensuring it will happen sooner, and then try to put a guilt trip on us, so we will beg to pay more taxes, to pay for their incompetence.
    Hopefully, the people won't have to physically throw these low-lifes out of the capitol when that happens.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  198. Larry W. Long

    I am so sick of the whole political climate in this country Don't dare tell me to love it or leave it. I spent 21 years in the military to earn the right to speak my mind.

    Although long suspected, I never fully realized, until this health reform issue, just what a rotten bunch of people our politicians really are. There are precious few exceptions. They do not get elected with the mandate of serving the people, they get elected to feather their own nest. From day one they do not work to serve, they work to get reelected the next cycle.

    You are only partially correct when you say "Polls suggest Americans are increasingly skeptical – with support for health care reform falling.."

    Support for health care reform IS NOT failing. Only support for this watered down worthless insurance give away.

    Scrap this current bill – have an up or down vote to lower the age for Medicare Coverage – every working person already pays medicare tax – the program is in place – and – if those of you who do not want or like medicare, You can still give your money to one of the Health Insurance hogs at the trough. Just hope you do not get too sick, or start costing them money – or God forbid a preexisting condition.

    Larry W. Long
    Puyallup, WA.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  199. Charles in Niceville, FL

    Yes, we can and will survive. Jack, it is not the government's responsibility to provide or manage health care. The marketplace will do a fine job of correcting excesses.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  200. Matt

    Health care costs (rather insurance premiums) will take care of themselves faster if you let market forces prevail. At some point insurance companies will price themselves at a level where more people will drop coverage and deal directly with their health care provider.

    This Obama scare tactic of the US will go bankrupt is full of $&!t. The only thing bankrupting this country is his out of control spending.

    December 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |