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January 19th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Unions invited into secret health care negotiations

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama said over and over during the campaign that cameras would be allowed to cover the health care negotiations. He lied. No cameras permitted at the secret talks to reconcile the Senate and House versions of health care reform. And for good reason.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/19/surg.jpg caption=""]
The White House and Congressional Democrats have cut a deal with union leaders to limit the reach of a tax on high-end health insurance plans. Health plans covered by union contracts will be exempt from the 40-percent tax until 2018... $60 billion worth of exempt.

Taxing so-called "Cadillac" plans was supposed to be one of the ways to pay for this massive overhaul - but under this deal, taxes will only raise $90 billion instead of the expected $150 billion over 10 years.

Union leaders were at the negotiating table for three days... while of course cameras weren't.

President Obama and the Democrats are digging their graves here - with what critics are calling a "sweetheart deal."

This is nothing but naked politics... union leaders had warned earlier that Democrats could lose their support if the final health care bill included a tax on Cadillac Plans. So the leadership paid them off to the tune of $60 billion. All done out of sight of the news media and the public.

Meanwhile - the fate of health care reform could depend on who wins that special election to replace Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. A lot of people feel health care reform could be dead if the Democrats lose that Senate seat today.

Here’s my question to you: Are you surprised unions were invited into secret health care negotiations?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Tim writes:
Why would anyone be surprised that unions were in the meetings? This administration is corrupt. They needed all these organizations and need to pay them off to retain their support. If you enlist the devil's support to win, there is always a payment in the end. This is the start of the end of the Obama administration and Democrat rule.

Walt from Salt Lake City, Utah writes:
Jack, Not surprised at all, this president campaigned on "openness," "transparency" and "change." It wasn't going to be "business as usual" under his presidency. My God, how many of us really believed him and voted this hypocrite into office?

Casey from Ruth, California writes:
I guess that makes up for all the insurance and pharma lobbies in secret negotiations with Republican senators.

Rod from Chicago writes:
I hope the Republican wins in Mass. and this whole mess of flawed stupid legislation is flushed for something that actually helps people instead of politicians.

Bob from Lafayette, California writes:
No. Unions are a major constituency of the Democratic Party and those union health care plans were bargained for at the expense of wage gains. So no wonder union leadership fought hard to keep their gains. That's what unions do. No different than the oil lobbyists who met with Cheney secretly to develop our energy policy. That is how things get done in Washington.

Corey from Georgia writes:
No, Jack, I'm not surprised. Whether it's behind-the-door health care negotiations or undercover lobbyists, the American people are constantly being ignored. It's beyond contemptible.

Richard from Wisconsin writes:
Of course not. The unions and Obama have been in bed together since the beginning of his campaign. I agree with you, I live in Wisconsin and I can smell it here.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Mike S., New Orleans

    Under Bush Cheney we had secret energy policy negotiations (results?) and secret war negotiations (results?) and apparently secret negotiations over which US Attorneys had not been loyal enough to Republicans. If the health care negotiations were secret, they wouldn't be inviting unions to participate, would they?

    January 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  2. Peg from NY

    Huh? Unions? Surprised? Try dumbfounded!

    January 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  3. ROD Chicago

    I hope the Repub wins in Mass and this whole mess of flawed stupid legislation is flushed for something that actually helps people instead of politicians.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  4. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    No not at all Jack. The unions we have left in this country still have several members like the teamsters have members such as Brown(UPS). With members such as UPS there would be a wide range of people of all races and ideas so in that way it is not bad to have their input. I would rather have their input towards a bill rather than lets say Rush's input.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  5. Ralph Hofmeier

    To see all the talk about Universal Health Care is very strange when you are from a "modern country" . Why not paying for your health with Tax money ? If one crazy Arab kills 1 american the USA spent billions of $$ to find him , let him go when they find him and kill 5 other Arabs......

    But the lack of health insurance kills thousands of americans each year ! Did the Pentagon ever consider to "bomb" Blue Shields or the GOP for denying coverage and health for all ? Would be cheap .........

    Ralph

    January 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  6. Kamel Tlemsani

    I personally do not care if the negotiations are held public or private, moreover do not care who needs to be part of the negotiation process as long as the bill pass as universal health care policy to provide decent coverage for all Americans

    January 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Dina

    No I'm not surprised unions were invited into secret health care negotiations; Jack I don't care what they do just get it done! Comprehendo!!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  8. David of Alexandria VA

    Not at all. The administration has proven itself to be very comfortable with freely using political patronage, pork-barrel kick-backs, and bribes to get their way. For a group which ego-centrically calls themselves "progressive," it seems as though traditional, old-school, back-room politics is still fine with them. I'm just surprised they bothered to try to make them "secret."

    January 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    It won't matter one bit if the unions are invited regarding health care if the democrats lose the senate seat in Massachusetts. It will be dead with 59 votes. I'd rather have unions as part of the negotiation rather than the lobbyists write legislation as Tom Delay once admitted to.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Janne from NC

    Why should anyone be surprised. The dems are so desperate to get this abomination of a healthcare bill passed they have abandoned all pretense of "change we can believe in " and gone back to same ol same ol.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  11. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    No, but anyone who voted for Obama should be disgusted with the backroom deals. We are still waiting for the promised transparency and the entire health care debate being broadcast on C-Span as promised by Obama numerous times during his campaign. Instead we are getting bits and pieces of the deals being cut. Gotta wonder what information we are not receiving.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  12. Russ in PA

    No, because this "reform" was never about reform: it's about more entitlements for select groups of people. More reason to vote for true change, and vote for Constitutionalists like Paul during the next elections.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  13. Terry Gallian

    Jack,
    As a life long conservative I am not a regular watcher of CNN but I want to commend you on the "health care openness issue." You have done the entire country a great service. Last time I looked this was still a country that respected the democratic process, but "times, they are achangin."

    January 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  14. Don from Belleville Ontario

    Surprised, no. Disgusted, yes. Are they using the crisis in Haiti to quickly ram through a special-interest driven secret health care reform bill? The negotiations cry out for daily scrutiny by CNN and its experts. This government's new slogan should be "CHANGE SOME OF OUR BEST FRIENDS CAN GET RICH ON".

    January 19, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  15. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Since when have you been Pollyanna? No one negotiates anything in public. People posture in public and negotiate in private. Ask George Mitchell or any successful negotiator.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  16. Simonsays-Orlando

    Absolutely not. Money talks. They gave a ton of it to the Obama campaign. This is just part of the payback. Anyone not in a union will be paying more. It's just the same old politics as usual. He promised change. Does anyone really still think that he's kept his word?

    January 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  17. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Nothing, absolutely nothing suprises me these days when it comes to politics in Washington or at any level.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  18. Doris Lauter

    No. If they are so secret, why is it that so many people are against health care ? There are a lot of people out there that seem to know all about health care. Is it the "death panel" people that are telling them all about health care?
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    January 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  19. Jimmy from Houston, TX

    I'm surprised it took the Unions so long to get their special deal, after all we bailed out the Unions by buying ownership in GM, for the good of the country ofcourse. The Unions own Obama.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  20. Chandra in Las Vegas, NV

    The only way to put a stop to this outrageous behavior is to expose it, all of it and keep on playing Obamas broken promises so nobody "forgets" what we were promised. This is worse than business as usual, all these backroom negotiations and deals are proof this is a bad bill, if it was good there would be support. Thanks Jack for exposing truths.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  21. Joe M

    Jack,

    Absolutely not. I am a union member and we give those people alot of money and support. We better be in the negotiations.

    Independent Joe (Mn)

    January 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  22. honestjohn in Vermont

    I'm not surprised at all. Obama will try anything to push his meager Healthcare Bill through. Some transparency? Secret negotiations in the dark of night?

    January 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  23. Kevin in MA

    Surpried, NO – Nothing this democratic run government does behind closed doors surprizes me. It does turn my stomach. Whateevr happened to transparancy and the promise of being able to know just how and who was doing the deals the President promised. Promise is another word for lies in the democrat dictionary.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  24. Terry in Hanover

    Surprised? No. Disappointed? Yes. President Obama ran a campaign based on a change in the way government does things. He promised daylight, but once more we have a government that keeps us taxpayers in the dark until it's time to pay the bill.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  25. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    Let's see now, Jack! Are these the same negotiations that Obama promised would be broadcast live on C-SPAN? Change we can believe in? Liar.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  26. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Obama is even more secretive than Cheney/Bush ever was, and they labeled everything Top Secret. After a full year of lies and empty speeches on every single issue about which Obama promised change, I am not the least bit surprised. I am, however, hugely disappointed. Somehow I don’t think Hillary would have been anywhere near this full of lies. This from an Obama supporter. He will not get a 2nd term and that will probably leave us with Palin, given the blind, unreasoned support that twit continues to hold. Where does that leave us now.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  27. Ray Lampe

    From Templeton MA. I am surprised, but supportive. That faction has to be treated equitably, and plain politics won't get it done

    January 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  28. Ben, Baton Rouge

    Obama apparently forgot that he was running for President, and couldn't make promises about Congress's behavior. It would be good if Congress would open up, but they've been doing backroom deals as long as they've existed.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  29. Richard Texas

    No Jack i was not surprised at all. As far as the healthcare bill being dead the democrats will just change the rules. They can do it with 51 votes and not even have to send it back to the Senate. What everyone always seems to forget is that these politicians are all cut from the same cloth. If you have the same caliber of people on both sides of the aisle in positions of leadership how can you honestly expect a different result. Power corrupts .

    January 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  30. Kelly Veino

    Nothing surprises me anymore. I'm very disappointed in the White House.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  31. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Not at all. The Democrats and the Unions have always been in cahoots. Poor judgemnet such as this is why Obama will only be a one term president.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  32. Alex in Seattle

    Idealism is dead, again. Politics as usual appears to be the real translation of governing in prose.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  33. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No to your question for two reasons : if it was a secret negotiation you would not be reporting about it and second unions as far as I know do represents workers that are middle class citizens that risks losing from a lack of representation of their union defending their members healthcare benefits that they got instead of getting a pay raise!

    January 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  34. ADS-Seattle

    Just more of the same. There has been no change, not even loose change. Politics remains corrupt to the core. I really don't think we will ever see power returned to the people through their elected represenatives until we cut off the head of the monster....campaign finance.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  35. Kris in Ohio

    No. I am not surprised. Typical politics from a typical politician. While I had hoped that I was wrong to not believe his calls for hopechangery, the truth is only too plain to see.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  36. Ronald Morris

    Of course I am not surprised. ALL politicians feel that legislation is too important to be influenced by the ignorant mass of voters. Voters expect things like results and individually cannot provide big enough campaign contributions or learning trips to Las Vegas, Monte Carlo or even just brothels to to be worth listening to.

    Harry Reid is the one who killed this legislation. The bait and switch to get the bill out of committee and then secretly rewriting it was followed by bribes to people like Nelson to get it out of the Senate. Now he is rewriting it again with Pelosi and Obama behind closed doors. When it comes out I expect it to be full of earmarks to buy off anyone with an honest difference of opinion, or the guts to ask for a bigger bribe.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  37. Greg in PA

    Leftist liberals in power, nothing surprises me anymore, except maybe you Jack! I am willing to bet you are really a republican hiding out in a left leaning media organization.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  38. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, you gotta be kidding. The Democrats have demonstrated over and over that they will do anything, promise anything, SELL anything, threaten ANYONE, to get this huge tax & spend health care bill through and signed. REFORM, my tired butt, there isn't an ounce of reform in this bill after they get done dealing, and you know what? THEY DON"T CARE! They just want "something" signed into law to get some political points. America had better be hoping that Republican wins in Mass. and derails this bill, because we sure as the devil can't afford it.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  39. pat in michigan

    I have been a UAW member for 30+ years .I am not a bit surprised by their presence at negotiations.What I am surprised by is the Fact that Obama said no taxes for this health care bill.didn't he say that?I thought this bill was deficit neutral.When did this all change. did I miss a report . I would hate to think that fox (news)?was reporting the facts all along.
    I have been a dem. most of my life but I hope the Republicans win in Mass. and kill this scam now.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  40. Gordo, NJ

    I've heard so many wild stories about what is and isn't included in this bill, that I'll reserve judgment for now. Cadillac plans for union and management employees both contribute to runaway healthcare costs. It's ironic that the Republicans who defend Wall Street bonuses defined by employment contracts as sacrosanct, are demanding that union agreements should be tossed out the window. I say toss them both out the window together so those of us who don't have job guarantees are not punished for their excesses.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  41. Thom Richer

    Thus far, nothing has surprised me about how our government (Congress and White House) has conducted itself. No matter which party has had the majority. I have hoped and prayed for honesty, candidness, and representation of the people but I have never expected or believed it would, or has happened in my lifetime. What would really surprise me is if those in office would actually operate purely with the good of the majority in mind without financial or political greed or personal gain as their determination. I do not believe it will ever happen with the present group in Congress. So, no surprise here. "Secret negotiations" in a Democracy? Either that is unconstitutional or we can no longer claim ourselves a "Democracy." Can't have it both ways.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  42. Greg

    Only an alien from another planet would be surprised. Obama has lied repeatedly and throw around bribes, like a frisbee, for votes.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  43. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    No surprise just the reality of politics. Instead of having an open debate, as promised, the Administration and Democratic leadership tried to hide the compromises made behind closed doors. Net result: Democrats are just as sneaky as the Republicans and Senator Aetna who pretend outrage at the cost to save American lives with adequate health care as they cash their contribution checks from the industry. The Democrats started blowing it the day after the election. All the wonderful promises were drown in the reality that everything must lead to re-election. We are looking at three more years of gridlock followed by four years of Somebody/Palin. Hope can survive another screw up.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  44. Doc in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    I am surprised. And I am all for it!
    Unlike the well paid minions of management, it is not often that the representatives of workers get a seat in the inner circles of policy making.
    I have been pro union since I first got a job as a sack boy and stocker. Back then I helped organize the A&P chain here in Texas. Later while working my way through college as a line welder I was shop steward for Allied Industrial Workers at my plant..
    As a professor I fought for 30 years to organize unions at every university and college I worked in. And I resent strongly any implication that organized labor is somehow unAmerican or antithetical to theprinciples of Democracy.
    Doc
    Arlington Texas

    January 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  45. Darren

    Not exactly change we can believe in.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  46. Greg

    Only an alien from another planet would be surprised. Obama has lied repeatedly and throws around bribes, like a frisbee, for votes.

    Denver, CO

    January 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  47. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Not At all Jack. There are some many deals made by both parties during campaigns and so many lobbyist that anyone elected to office, no matter whether it is presidency, senate or house of representatives are able to do what they feel is best for the country. Everyone has a say in what is voted on in Washington, unions, Wall Street, pharmaceutical and Health insurance companies, except the people who have nobody speaking up for them.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  48. Eugene, Myers Flat, CA

    Jack, Nothing the lying Obama Administration does suprises me anymore. Ramming a distasterous health care reform fiasco down our collective throats, with secret back room deals and political pay offs is not the CHANGE we were promised. Only CHANGE is see is $Trillions of tax payer dollars going to democrats instead of republicans. The only way to stop this is conveyor belt of corruption is to vote all incumbants out come November and support term limits, otherwise we're done for.

    And we're still waiting to hear BaBaBa Boo Blitzer sing Jack.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  49. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    I was no more suprized by this than I was when Dick Cheney met with those oil big-wigs in developing our country's energy policy. I am dissapointed about many things done by our government and this is just the latest on the long list.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  50. Eugene, Myers Flat, Northern Cal

    Jack, We're still waiting to hear BaBaBa Boo Blitzer sing us a song. It may help the ratings.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  51. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Nothing our government does surprises me anymore Jack. Even if we knew they were participating it wouldn't change anything, the result would be the same. Of course, if the Democrats lose up in Massachusetts, it won't make any difference because the health care bill will be dead, the Republicans and health care companies will have won and the American people will lose again as usual.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  52. Oilengineer

    Surprised? I'm surprised this is the first we've heard about it. How many telephone calls existed before this? This isn't a healthcare bill, stop calling it that. It's a health insurance bill.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  53. Bonnie from NJ

    At this point I am not surprised, but I am very disappointed in the Obama (I voted for him) administration for this and many other reasons. I haven't totally given up hope, but he sure is acting like the typical politician (or was I just too naive in the first place to believe he wouldn't). I am hoping the republican in Mass does win, just to let the administration know that independents and democrats, even in a very liberal state like Mass, are very upset about the way things are going.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  54. Gigi Oregon

    Are they part of corporate America?

    Jack has there be an Exodus movement to Canada or some warm country below the USA in the last three years. Where are seniors retiring to? I'm ready to move. The more I read your blog the more depressed I get.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  55. Ed from MD

    No, because the mafia used to run the unions, maybe still does. Those guys like to work in secret too, particularly when extorting money from the small business owners.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  56. Bobby Bobby

    No it does not supise me with the president and his administration.
    Statesville NC

    January 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  57. Tina Tx

    Democrats are always for the unions. Republicans not so. What is the difference between protecting the unions or the Republican fat cats? You tell me?

    January 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  58. commonsenseideas@yahoo.com in SF, CA

    Hey Jack!

    How could you be surprised? This sort of thing is becoming old hat for the "Most Transparant" Presidential Administration in history! Sure!
    From the botched Stimulus results to the closed-door union meetings this administration has kept very few promises and appears not to care about being hypocritical? Sad to say, but President Obama is either not a very good leader or does not have a very good memory... One term and I believe America is done with this President.

    P.S. buying senate votes with tax payer money is illegal? Buying union support with tax payer money is also illegal?

    If the "other" party did this there would be blood in the streets! Correct?

    January 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  59. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    No, I'm not surprised. Who's next in the "cutting a deal" line? If this bill passes, and at this point I REALLY hope it doesn't, I see a future where the middle class is footing the bill. The Democrats need to do one of two things:
    1. Put and end to trying to pass a healthcare reform bill; or
    2. Toss the bill in the burn pile, then start over. This time, include
    the Republicans, and keep the process transparent.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  60. Joey in Florida

    Surprised? Hell no. Outraged? You better believe it.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  61. Ken in Michigan

    Heck no! Most likely ACORN is next. Or, maybe it's all registered Democrats.... people one brown eye and one blue one.... people whose names start with "Q." I think the Congress has exhibited sheer stupidity when they don't listen to the people of the country they serve. Maybe this is Obama's way to make reparation to the lazy and don't wanted work... just hand me the money.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  62. Stephen

    Is that even a 'real' question? Seriously you don't have to be a "right wing wacko" to understand that what Mr. Obama has done here is the classic bait & switch! Tell the masses of morons who want to believe a massive government can keep them in diapers with blinders on as we go down the road of insolvency. Keep telling them exactly what they want to hear, which is “The government can take care of all your needs” and they will keep you in power and continue to give away all their freedoms.
    I wish I lived 200+ years ago... it would have been amazing to participate in creating the body politic and not fearing the destruction of it.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  63. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Please Jack !! That unions, the heath insurance companies and the 'bought and paid for' politicos should have a seat at the table to 'divvy the lucre' isn't the real issue !! 'That' issue was decided when the American public was shafted and the private insurance 'genocidal' fraud was voted as the way to proceed!!

    January 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  64. Barbara in NC

    I think we need to vote them all out and let them know if they don't work for US in the USA, we'll vote them out too.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  65. Melissa

    Jack, there is no lying here. He likely fully intended to broadcast this. It may surprise you to find out that the President is not a god, and doesn't have final say in whether cameras are in the room or not.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  66. Melissa

    Jack, you need to stop being so whiny.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  67. Gail, Plano,Texas

    No, Jack, not surprised at all. Were we invited into the war room when it was decided to invade Iraq? Nope. This is the way things are done in Washington. We have no say in how our government is run. We are sheep. Even our vote does not count. Consider that here in TX the GOP have 2 candidates fighting for the governor's seat. Both Perry & Hutchinson are not qualified for any office. So, I for one will not vote. My conscience will not allow it.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  68. Jim

    Jack,

    He didn't lie. He was naive, not untruthful. He didn't fully understand how good the Republicans are at sabotage. He's become a realist. Only a dictator or an absolute monarch can accomplish things for a nation without the need for compromise.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    January 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  69. Allan

    I'm not surprised at all. There are several things Obama promised regarding the health care debate that he has not followed through on and it seems obvious that he is going to do anything to get something passed, regardless of what it is just so he can claim victory. I'm actually am surprised that the Democrats hadn't thought about the impact to the unions when drafting the tax on so-called "Cadillac" plans initially and cut them out of the equation.

    Rochester, NY

    January 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  70. Maria

    Nothing done in our name at the federal level ever surprises me.

    Obama's unwillingness to have the hearings on camera is a bad omen. Once you operate in secrecy, you become addicted to that way of doing business and it's hard to break free.

    As a journalist I want access to every single meeting except those for obvious national security reasons. Obama has to put up or step up and tell the country he lied and has found the old way of politics a better way to go.

    I'm not holding my breath.

    Maria
    Brunswick,MD

    January 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  71. Jane (Minnesota)

    They are so far off track on what needs to be fixed in Health care what does it matter?????

    January 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  72. Ron Kauffmann

    Am I surprised? Are you kidding? A smart politician from CHICAGO? An unabashed supporter of the unions? A member of Jeremiah Wright's church–until he got caught, er, rather, embarrassed? We all know that Obama talks a good game and then proceeds to do whatever the hell he likes, public be damned!

    Unfortunately America is getting what it voted for! And we are left with what options? To get yanked back and forth between two parties, neither serving the interest of the American people.

    Wake up, America. Time for a third party.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  73. Ron Kauffmann

    Oops, Lawrenceville, GA

    January 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  74. art l, rutland, vt

    no Jack, it's business as usual for Obamao.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  75. john ............. marlton, nj

    It is a crime .....All the more reason that Obama's robinhood health care extravaganza get derailed... Is it time to start locking up politicians or do we wait for 2012

    January 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  76. Mark B.

    I am in no way surprised they were invited into meetings. President Obama made it very clear during the campaign, they were going to help shape his agenda. Unfortunately, the president equates the will of union bosses with the will of the people. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  77. lynda from NC

    I am not surprised but I am terribly dissapointed. It shouldn't matter that they are in a union, they should be treated equally just like every other worker who is going to have to pay for this healthcare bill. And for that matter since its a national bill – every state should be treated equally as well – but we all see how well that is going.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  78. Jamie

    Jack, nothing surprises me about politicians; especially President Obama. It's just another sweet heart deal in which the special interests get rewarded for supporting Obama. I'm starting to wonder if he ever said anything during the election that wasn't a lie. People gave McCain crap for sitting there making faces in amazement listening to Obama's answers during the debate but I think now everyone can understand why. I hope everyone that supported Obama in the last election learns from this and pays a little more attention to a candidates record rather than hype next time.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  79. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    In America, you have so many surprises to the point where being surprised is useless. Jack, I'm not surprised because we have a government that can be sneaky and invites certain things that American public is obviously oblivious to.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  80. Preston Craig

    Surprised no....Appalled Yes!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  81. Eugene Northern Cal

    Jack, Nothing the lying Obama Administration surprises me anymore. Americans simply do not like the corrupt bargains being struck in the healthcare arena. But Jack, this isn't about health care reform at all. It;s about Obama's hidden Socialist, Marxist agenda, to use his Mao- loving Czars and redistribute the wealth of america.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  82. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Are you serious with that question? With all the back-handed, Democrats only behind closed doors, this comes as no surprise. I am waitig for the other shoe to drop and see what other devious plan they have up their sleeves

    January 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  83. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    No but then again I was not surprised when big oil companies were invited in negotiations when we went into war with Iraq,or no bid contracts were given out. You take care of the people who take care of you,

    January 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  84. Linda in Arizona

    Yes, I'm surprised they let the representatives of working-class people anywhere near the negotiations. What could they be thinking?

    January 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  85. eric

    These politician and administration in Washington remind me of what's happening off the East Coast of Africa. Hijack the ships and hold 'em for ransom. The people of the this country deserve better. I've never remembered any administration prior to this being this corrupt. I'm impressed with your article Jack. You told the story exactly how it is. It's refreshing.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  86. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems have become totally repulsive with their under the table deals, perversions of democracy, and attempts to dictate to the people.

    This is moving in a very dangerous direction, and needs to stop.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  87. Loren, Chicago

    No, the unions helped elect President Obama, and the Democratic Party realizes that it owes them their reelection. Should we ever be surprised by a quid pro quo?

    January 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  88. Randy T

    No. The union leaders were brought in to quiet an increasingly growing populist anger. After this "Secret" meeting, there will be "Secret" checks written and deposited in "Secret" offshore union leader bank accounts.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  89. Greg, Ontario

    No...I'm surprised that you didn't say that President Obama cared enough about the 47 million people without health care and the umpty million more that are paying rediculous monthly payments for coverage, that he met with these closet communists to keep the ball rolling. Had to play the old media spin bit eh Jack? You are losing fans huge. When do you move over to FOX News?

    January 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  90. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    They should be there members have lost pay for may years, in order to get better Health-Care only to have the weak-kneaded Democrats in the Senate cave yet again and go about finding a way to tax health-Care.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  91. Larry Jackson

    Keep the union out of Washington. They are the reason we now have a socialized automotive industry.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  92. Jerry

    No, The dems are trying to increase there voting base, by increasing government, all armed forces, and legalising illegals. Jerry/ Iowa

    January 19, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  93. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Must be nice to have that power. The power of who will be saved and who won't be saved.
    To think that all this decision making process is comming from a group of people who are so well off that no matter what decision they make or who they hurt, will have no consequences for themselves.
    All that without your say.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  94. Richard-Arkansas

    A lot of union members gave up expected salary increases or took cuts in their existing pay in order to help companies survive. The benefit they got was that their healthcare was improved since companies knew that the costs would hit over a longer period of time. I haven't seen any executives giving up 10-15% of their salaries or the bonuses on top of their salary to do the same. In fact, the bosses have done very well in this lousy economy. Another case of the working man or woman taking a hit for lousy management decisions.

    And don't bring up the false issue of union contracts since every contract has two signatures- the management and the workers.

    January 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  95. Gary H. Boyd

    Are you kidding Jack. No surprise at all. Having given 300 million for a Senator's vote from Lousiasana and 100 million for a vote from Nebraska, what's the big deal about including the unions. After all, the Democrats claim - "Their tent is big enough for everybody
    Personally, I think they ought to consider including the fruitcakes in Hollywood.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona ".

    January 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  96. Mike from Denver

    Sadly, no. I think the surprise will be how many deals and the total dollar amount by the time the final votes are counted. Until then Jack, please just add this to the list payoffs associated with the health care bill.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  97. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    No.While these negotiations should not be secret , the unions have as much right to input as everyone else(especially since they represent their individual members).Greedy,self-serving health care lobbies only represent fat cats.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  98. David in Raleigh, NC

    Joe was right when he called Obama a liar.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  99. Cecilia

    So much for Obama's promise that there would be no secrets and he would provide a govenment open to the people at all times. Also that American's could view online for five days all of the legislation that comes to him before he signs it. We now need change for sure. Register to vote and go to the polls this November.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  100. Terry in Illinois

    Jack,
    You sound like a Republican businessman today, what up with that?
    Listen, Unions help create the "middle class" and for members to have nice benefits. So what if Union leaders are in with the Congress leaders working out details. For the past 200 plus years American government has had different groups in on legislation. Just look at the past 8 years with Bush, they had Texas Oil, Haliburton, Electric & Gas like Enron, Walmart and their taxpayer state run medical plans, reduced our clean air and water standards from Clinton days and GOP deregulated Wall St.
    Here you are today complaining about workers having some say in policy. Get over it, and hopefully Unions will give them ideas about getting jobs back in America...its about time workers had some say!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  101. Donna Granchay

    This Congress is guilty of too many secret negotiations. What happened to the promise of transparency? They use our taxpayer money to buy votes and make their decisions behind closed doors. A pox on them and all their children. A more corrupt bunch of legislatures has never existed before in these United States of America.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  102. Annie, Atlanta

    No, are you? Like you said, “naked politics.” It’s not pretty, just fact. Remember Cheney and his secret meeting with big energy? At least we know the outcome of the union meeting. We’ll have to guess on the other.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  103. Bill

    Hello Jack. It looks to me like health care reform is going to be a dead issue if the republicans have their way. All the scare tactics that the lobbiests have done has just caused confusion and the downright lies they have been spreading is terrible. Anything for the almighty dollar. They are so full of greed that it's sickening. I'll always vote dem. and will never vote for a republican as long as I live. They are nothing but a pack of liars.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  104. Angie

    Insurance companies have controlled the cost of health care while making hughe profits. Insurance companies have paid Republicans millions of dollars to stop Health Care Reform. Insurance companies and Republicans have funded and organized the Tea Party biggotted hateful racially motivated banners parading infront of news camera yelling out their lies about the Health Care Reform to persuade American people against the Health Care Reform. After the House passed the Health Care Reform with the Public Option, Insurance companies and Republicans went into overdrive, yelling Abortion Abortion Abortion, while having religious leaders forbidding the conservative Democrats to vote for the Health Care Reform with the Public Option. So senate Democrats change the Health Care Reform to try to save reforming the health care system to give Americans a chance with some kind of Reform. And now Massachusetts not caring for all the Americans around the country without health insurance or those who will be loosing theirs soon to no fault of their own, are very happy. They say they are voting for change by voting for a Republican. Yet the very definition of Republican is Traditional, against change.

    The Insurance companies for almost a century have controlled the health care system by being one of the original special interests groups. I guess every Republican, Teaparty, and Massachusetts along with New Jersey are happy to allow the insurance companies to maintain the power they hold over the Health Care System.

    For future generations who will suffer because of it, I say to all "Well Done, Well Done!"

    January 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  105. prince11

    wow OLD NEWS way to be on top of things.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  106. Dennis S. Toronto,Ontario,Canada.

    Excelent question but the answer is already answerd by you Jack.
    President Obama changed his mind, again as he has about the Terrorist detained, also the war in Iraq the troops will be out in 16 months. Senator Clinton said it can not be done in 16 months and he said he can. Well Senator Clinton was correct about that and many other things that the voters can see today. What about he pork in the bills? still there.So the first bill in the Senate 2009 he said well it was not his bill so the pork will be allowed.But the Helthcare bill is his and full of pork, not only that the pork was used to get the Democrat Senators to give the Healthcare the vote but President Obama is still trying every thing and everything is still not enough.
    Dennis. S.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  107. Joy

    You know very well what all this is about Jack, don't act so naive. You know Jack!! And now you are switching gears, a good political soft shoe act for TV land. You were one of the side of the big band leaders last year who wanted to hang President Bush if they could. I recall you were foaming from the mouth when going after him with your stupid CNN polls. You gave our then tired and beaten up President George Bush the platform to hang himself. And you were very self rightous about it all. I guess because then Candidate Barack Obama was the popular one so you must go with him. Right? President Obama knows very well now what Pres Bush was up against, no time like the present, and there is something about walking in someone elses shoes...that tells ya what it's like, and all that figure pointing...just as they say "look out for there are 3 pointing right back at ya"! This goes for you too Jack!

    January 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  108. TC in Illinois

    Jack,

    If Unions were more involved with American policies, it would be a better place but unfortunately, the GOP hates Unions. The GOP states all have Right-To-Work laws which are anti-Union.
    More Americans had jobs and medical insurance 10 years ago when Clinton left office. So what happened? The 8 years of Bush and Republicans, more jobs got outsourced, more workers lost medical coverage and more Americans lost their homes than ever before.
    The Bush and Republican years ruined America of which we are still suffering from during the first Obama year. The rich bankers, insurance guys, and oil men got even richer under GOP rule while working Americans were losing everything.
    Tell me again why its not OK for Union leaders to try and change American policy to benefit workers instead of the rich ???

    January 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  109. steve- virginia beach

    No, I already knew that Obama is corrupt and a liar. And I had already seen video of Obama at a SEIU meeting as much as promising to take care of their every desire while bragging that he has been doing this for years.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  110. Marco A Guzman

    Jack,

    No.

    -M-

    January 19, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  111. Butch in SC

    Yes.... I am flabbergasted that unions were invited into SECRET health care negotiations! That's abominable! Obama has done nothing but
    satisfy himself AND disappoint everyone else! 2012 can't come soon enough!
    I can't think of a single campaign promise that he has kept. This is not "the change" that we wanted. The change we would like to see now, is for a GOP in Kennedy's treasured seat! Yah!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  112. Lia in Florida

    Aw, come on, Jack – this is a matter of equity and balance. Up until now, all the money being thrown at our beloved beltway bores has come from wealthy lobbies looking to increase their own largesse. They don't give a hoot about Joe Schmoo.
    Now it's time for someone who represents at least part of the American workforce to have their say. The sad thing is that the elected bores should have been doing that all along.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  113. Dennis

    I am suprised the healthcare bill is tied to the quality of coverage and not yearly income.Seems Stupid.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  114. Brendan of Derry, NH

    I am not surpirsed that unions were allowed into the "secret meetings." Labor unions should be allowed to cooperate with legislative leaders, because their job is to protect the workers. The Democratic Party is the party of the people. People are not exhuberant over the bill, because more people will burden it though taxes than benefit from it. I believe that these meetings should be done behind closed doors because unfortunately, more people would disagree with what is in the bills than be for the reform. Either way, this is absolutely essential, and unions should be contributing to helping the working class most affected by health care-less-ness.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  115. Bill Riat

    KEEP IT UP

    I am going to start watching CNN again because of you.

    Thanks and good luck

    January 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  116. Joanna

    I personally think that the people leaving negative comments are racist and prejudice against these black Haitians. These people need our help in every way and if helping them means bringing them to the States so be it. Do we know exactly how it feels to be in their shoes? Think about that.

    Display my name. I have nothing to hide.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  117. walt Utah

    Jack,

    Not surprised at all, this president campaigned on "openess" "transparency" and "change". It wasn't going to be "business as usual" under his presidency. My God, how many of us really believed him and voted this hipocrite into office.

    Walt
    Salt Lake City, Ut

    January 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  118. Dennis W Smecker

    Jack:I can't believe you weren't aware of the fact that President Obama told the government employees that they were going to receive a 2% cost of living increase back in December of 2009 when he was aware of the fact that seniors would not be getting any raise at all in 2010.You never raised any questions in the seniors defense!thank you,Dennis W Smecker

    January 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  119. Casey | Ruth, CA.

    I guess that makes up for all the insurance and pharma lobbies in secret negotiations with Republican senators.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  120. Richard

    Dear Jack I sent you an e mail back at election time it wasn't very nice so I deeply apologize to you I was unhappy about about your comments about Hilary Clinton I still believe she would have made a good president but that is no excuse for my foul comments so again I am truley sorry, I wish you well and continued success with your show on CNN.sincerly Richard

    January 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  121. Pamma-Charleston, S.C.

    No, I am not. It just goes to show you how greedy the unions are and as they helped in the downfall of the auto industry through the years, they will help destroy the best health care system in the world.

    Thanks,
    Pamma

    January 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  122. MacFab

    Jack, when are you going to retire? MacFab From TX

    January 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  123. Ken

    Of course not! If we were able to see and hear what was said we would probably storm the white house and throw all of those congressmen out of office!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  124. Lisa Thompson

    Surprised? No.

    Now ask me if I'm disgusted.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  125. Maureen, Atlanta, GA

    And why should we be surprised??

    January 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  126. Colleen

    It is just politics AS USUAL...so what happened to CHANGE, Mr. President...don't see any YET.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  127. Gail Deegan

    I am no more surprised that unions were included in "secret" talks with the Democrats on health care than I was that oil officials were included in "secret" talks with the Republicans on energy. What will it take for this country and its leaders to address the issues on the merits? It's time for everyone to realize there is no "free lunch."

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  128. Kathleen Jacobson

    I voted for Obama because I hoped beyond hope for CHANGE. However, it's politics as usual. What happened to transparency? I am 50 years old and feeling so disgusted I don't think I will ever vote, again. What does it matter, Jack? These sleazy politicians – no matter the party – are all the same, and they all make me sick.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  129. Richard Hood

    Of course not. The unions and Obama have been in bed together since the beginning of his campaign. I agree with you, I live in Wisconsin and I can smell it here.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  130. mack

    you can't stand the working man getting anthing can you Jacki. but don't mention when company wrote bills while the republicans were in office

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  131. mary

    NO Obama has been closet since he started same o same o

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  132. Jennifer H

    No more surprised than that the insurance companies have certainly struck a deal with Republicans to block heath care that will cost those companies billions! This deal was even more secretive as the news media is not even discussing this deal.

    We will all pay more by staying with the current system and the money will go directly to the insurance companies.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  133. Scott Thompson Destin, FL

    Surprised? Not at all. the Republican are corrupt with big business and the Democrats are WAY corrupt with the unions. I'm in a union and I am ashamed. Throw the bums out and impliment term limits, it is our only shot at a future!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  134. Bobz- Lafayette Ca

    No – Unions are a major constituency of the Democratic Party and those union health care plans were bargained for at the expense of wage gains. So no wonder union leadership fought hard to keep their gains. That's what unions do. No different than the oil lobbyists who met with Cheney secretely to develop our energy policy. That is how things get done in Washington.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  135. Rick

    This is just more of the same disingenuous political tactics the OBAMAO adminsitration has foisted upon America. There is more deceit and cronyism going on under OBAMAO than any previous administration including Bush #2. OBAMAO lied to the voters and tells the truth when it suits him. WAKE UP AMERICA!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  136. Jeremey

    How does Barrack get away with lying to us? Why can't a reporter actually grow a %($# and ask him straight to his face about all of his campaign promises that aren't being kept? We elected him from his campaign promises, not for this BS. Does he not know what change means? It's still a sin to lie, as far as I know....

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  137. Mitch

    So much for this administration of "hope"...it's business as usual....whatever it takes to get re-elected...whther it's sleeping with big business or unions....the only thing that has changed is the party...not the politics.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  138. Bob, Arlington, VA.

    Surprised Jack? What, are you kidding. It follows a pattern that includes the decision about the import of Chinese tires and much more. This is not the change I voted for in November 2008, i.e. it represents short cuts, deals, slight of hand and much else that has taken the place of what we all expected. How sad!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  139. Rick Dollar

    No surprise. Expect more of the same from our nations "leadership?". How much worse can it get?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  140. Scott Guthrie

    Surprised? I would have been surprised if they hadn't been there. I think the dems and GOP pay more attention to Unions than the people who elect them.... Or do we elect them?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  141. Steve Collins

    Chicago style politics at it best/worst! Obama, Pelosi and Reid give a SIXTY BILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK TO THE UNIONS, that the remaining American tax payers will have to cover. DISGRACEFUL!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  142. Tony Scott

    Am I surprised that union leaders were invited to secretly negotiate health care behind closed doors? Not with THIS administration. Thugs meeting with thugs goes hand in glove. Add it to the other bribes, threats, deals, broken promises and corruption that are sum and substance to the Hope and Change program.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  143. Ron Kinley

    No I'm not surprised. Is anyone?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  144. Tim

    "Fairness" was a one of the pimary promises of the democrats. Their actions are the complete opposite.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  145. Cali

    I am not suprised that secret unions were invited to the health care negotiations. The only way we would know they were there are when the negotiations are almost finished and we have no say whether or not we wanted them there in the first place.

    Cali
    Arkansas

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  146. Mario from Cranston, Rhode Island

    Whatever happened to transparency in government. This president's slick talk and empty rhetoric is slowly starting to catch up with him. The senate election in Massachusetts today is just the tip of the iceberg with voters who are now just starting to wake up!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  147. Chris S

    Nothing surprises me with unions anymore... this is another example of unions strong arming everything in sight. I'd like to bet that THEY didn't want the camera's in the negotiations.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  148. Gina

    Now that is a question to really chuckle at. ALL POLITICANS promise the world , sell their soul, to remain in office.
    As a Democrat, I think I will give Obama some more time to decide what his presidency will bring.
    The day their is transparcency in Washington , will be the day you vote our ALL these politicans that has made Washington their wallet.!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  149. lisa fairbourn

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Just exactly who spent all of the money to get Obama elected?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  150. Penelope McCashland

    Not just surprised, but shocked and outraged. The union workers are among the highest paid employees in this country, and they should do not need special treatment, nor do they really need it. Those working for non-union employers are paid less. The tail is wagging the dog here.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  151. Jamie

    Why would it be a surprised that this even went on. They are in such a hurry to push this Health Care package down every Americans throats without even asking if this is what we want. Have the contacted EVERY TAXPAYER to find out if we agree with the plan as it stands? I think not. Besides why should they care! It's our money they are spending and we get stuck with the bill.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  152. Five Haves

    I am not surprised at all that union leaders have been invited into the PRIVATE negotiations with House Democrats. Union support has always been for sale and the Democrats have always been the buyers.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  153. Bess

    I'm not surprised at all. Obama has been in the union's pocket from the beginning. And I won't be surprised that part of the "secret deal" is for Obama to push through EFCA in return for the union support so employees will no longer be allowed secret ballots or even understand that they even voted to be unionized. Unions are worse fatcats who just live off their union members.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  154. Nina Newton

    Unfortunately, I am not surprised that unions were allowed into negotiations while the media was kept out. It is consistent with Obama's past actions. He has not kept his word about transparancy or about working both sides of the aisle and including Republican's in the health care reform.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  155. Walter

    Jack not surprising everyone in Washington has forgot who voted them in and just support big business and big organizations like Unions

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  156. Jenny-Kansas City, MO

    Jack-
    I would have been surprised if the unions had not strong-armed the Dems for special treatment. It is time to end the influence of corrupt unions and other special interest groups on both sides. This is legalized bribery and corruption. It is NOT equal protection under the law. Let's hope that this particular health deal is dead. The MA senate election should send a message to the Dems that we the people will no longer tolerate special deals in Florida, Nebraska and Louisiana among other things.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  157. Rocky Miller

    I am not surprised at all that the Democrats have been making sweetheart deals with union bosses in secret at the expense of the rest of us. That has been their method of operation for decades. Shame on us for electing a government full of Chicago-style thugs.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  158. j baker

    No surprise that the Dems would sell their soul for a vote. Hide your true intent from the public as we the people are in trouble. Socialism is on its way if we let things continue on the current track.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  159. Charlie

    No, I'm not surprised by deals with unions. My mother led efforts to unionize in Massachusetts because of the situation she and many others faced in the mills. Unions are as self-centered now as any other sectors of society, but they are significant in balancing our economy as are the other side. I expect unions to get their slice, the other side has gotten theirs for too long.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  160. Mike in Atlanta

    Surprised and disapointed. There seems to be no limit to the Dems obsession to push this feeble and flawed version of health care reform. This isn't the "Change" we deserve.

    Mike
    Atlanta, GA

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  161. Matt B.

    I worked in Senator Kennedy's Health Office in 2005 and I was privy to an inside view of how healthcare legislation evolves. The essence of this type of overhaul is compromise; I am not surprised that unions were invited. The bottom line is that no one will be entirely satisfied, but that is how democracies negotiate compromise. The reality is that totally changing the system is untenable and trying to recreate this effort will not happen for years. I support the efforts of our legislatures in Washington and hope that stakeholders can make the important sacrifices to make this reform a success.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  162. Neal Story

    Obama has broken virtually every promise he made during his campaign. The fact that he still has about a 50% approval rating proves the ignorance of much of the American Public. He is a classic Chicago Politician.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  163. James Sarna

    If they plan on taxing my healthcare by 40% then I hope it does die. We're already being squeezed. And what is taxed? The employer contribution or the whole value? I'm already being squeezed by higher copays for doctors visits and coinsurance every year. I can't afford to pay another 4-5 thousand a year. Maybe if this had been publicized earlier, my vote in the Massachusetts special election special election would be different. I wish I could have my vote back. We knew there would be some tax but 40%? What kind of idiots are running this country? Go Scott Brown!!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  164. Tim

    Why would anyone be surprised that unions were in the meetings? This administration is corrupt. They needed all these organizations and need to pay them off to retain their support. If you enlist the devil's support to win, there is always a payment in the end. This is the start of the end of the Obama administration and Democrat rule.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  165. jay

    Jack, quit your belly aching about Obama's corruption and lying. What did you expect? Had you done a better job investigating Obama instead of working with other main stream media types to get him elected you would be reporting on other stories.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  166. tony clouseau

    Shame on you Jack.
    Unions built the middle class. The decline of union membership under the conservative onslaught of the last 30 years has closely tracked the collapse of middle class incomes
    Union workers earned these benefits. In many cases they gave up salary increases in exchange for these benefits. – concessions demanded by billionaire corporate leaders who won't have to sacrifice their cadillacs.
    These plans typically still cost less than half of what the health plans enjoyed by our members of Congress cost, but is there any suggestion that we tax THOSE?
    I will agree with you on one thing: Obama is to blame for this mess because he never even proposed a single payer plan, the only way that we would have true equity in health care in this country

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  167. Tim

    Doesn't surprise me this is just payback to the unions for getting the pres. in the white house really no different then the repubs giving tax breaks totalling almost 200 billion to the rich when we had TWO WARS GOING ON and by the way no money allocated to pay for these wars.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  168. Heather NYC

    I am not surprised by the secret union meetings. Frankly, that is how the unions operate - willing to throw their own constituency under the bus for the great "good" of the union.

    The Dems have basterdized the process such that the healthcare bill is unable to be funded as discussed - and will provide healthcare to a select group at an enormously imbalanced cost.

    Nobody wins.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  169. Bill - Bristow, VA

    Surprised? Hah – not at all – we in the US are ruled by a dictatorship under a royal family name Professional Politicians – all of whom have no interest in what's good for the country – only in what's good for them (and what's good for them is keeping their job since they don't know how to do anything productive). My solution is: in 2010,- 2012, and 2014 – vote 'em all out and start all over by electing candidates who promise to vote in term limits for the house and senate.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  170. Steve Christiansen

    Of course Obama made a deal with the union cadillac plans. But what if he did not? The sweet deal that the unions had will continue forever, and erode the existing health care until we all suffer. Think in terms of the future instead of the present and the past unregulated mistakes.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  171. Tim Figley

    I am not surprised at all. Obama machine is from dirty Chicago politics. This is just the lastest example of President Obama being a mouth piece for a socialist organization that hides in the shadows.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  172. Kevin Price

    The only 'surprise' is the increasingly growing level of audacity of this administration. I don't blame the union leadership for trying but I DO blame the administration for allowing them to succeed.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  173. Brenda

    NO! For years I gave up raises to get the health care I have. So why should I be taxed for making a wise decision? The unions are the only ones working for us bottom feeders.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  174. Bob Witkowski

    Where was the outrage when the top 1% got there riches via tax breaks et al? Hmmm. It seems it's always the Unions and the Middle Class that get vilified when they try to get an even break, Jack. The tax on 'cadillac' plans was a direct shot at the Middle Class.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  175. Paul

    here it is with just one year under his belt having run on a campaign promising change. sounds like politics as usual. tell the electorate one thing and forget the deal he made with us once he got into office. It just stinks. he could very well be sealing his fate as a one term president and at this point, it looks like he really deserves it. secret meetings and union heads there once again giving a chosen few a sweetheart deal.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  176. Terry

    It does not suprise me at all since the unions put up alot of money to campaign for Obama with Penny Pritsger CFO for Obama

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  177. Dennis

    No, I would be more surprised if no secret deals were made under the table. Come one this is Washington were talking about, most of the members in Congress would trade their first born child if they were guaranteed enough votes.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  178. Millie Mitchel

    Hard to believe that this would take place with President Obama . He ran on an open campaign . There was going to be " A big change " .

    Closed doors meetings with unions !!!!!!!! The country is a mess and deals are being made.

    Totally disgusted ,

    Millie Mitchel

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  179. harry zimmer

    The level now used to categorize a Cadillac plan is just above the Union's needs but below that for many other people (e.g. those with the Standard Plan of the Univ. Wisconsin with WPS).
    Yes, this is pretty shoddy but seems typical. Remember that we were promised that we could keep our Heath Insurance if we liked it. We were also promised transparency in government. Why was that Congressman punished for saying "You lie". These have been lies.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  180. Sam

    Just another in a long list of lies. And if these so-called 'representatives of the people' push this through as law, against the will of the majority of the 'people', then they are dumber than I thought (and that was already pretty dumb).
    Sam, California

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  181. raymond harper

    what I am most surprised about is you vicous attacks on the unions ! were you equally disquated when all those other deals were shoved through or is this disqust simply because you hate unions!! O h Jack please eloborate some more on baraks lie about televising all of this on cspan! Yes please remember just how much the unions have helped you in your communist red slanted journalism! Oh Jack also mention your disqust in trying to figure out who in hell will pay for this health care bill! Are you really reporting the concerns of america or just mr.turners

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  182. Mark, San Francisco

    Obama is starting to look a lot like Two-Face. He can tell the public one thing then turn around and tell the Unions and business something else. As someone who voted for him, I'm starting to think I got duped. He's just like the rest of these bozos. Change? Ain't nothin' changed in a year.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  183. John O'Neill

    Yes, if the average businessman or individual used these tactics to achieve their agenda, they would be accused of bribery and end up in jail. They are using the health care issue to buy the votes of union members.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  184. Andrea Mastro

    Hey Jack, don't blame the unions for protecting their members' benefits.
    This is the Senate's fault for not enacting the single payer health plan where all Americans will have health insurance.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  185. Pamela

    Of course not. We're not surprised that unions were invited into the so-called "secret" health care negotiations. That's why they're called "negotiations." Have you also been critical of what insurance companies have done? Or ... are you saying that the almighty insurance lobbyists and proponents have been "above board" in all their activities? "

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  186. Bob Stuth

    Bravo! I'm happy to see CNN catching on to the "Medicine Show" that is this health care bill. A actually had to sit down because I though I might faint when i heard jack Carrerty say "He lied" about the Presidents promise to be open and honest about these debates.
    Glad to see the blinders are off and we can cover the news not the perception.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  187. Joy

    You know very well what all this is about Jack, don't act so naive.

    The Unions do not deserve this, they do not need to defend themselves at every turn. Just because this stupid health care bill needs money doesn't mean the Union members should pay for it.

    Given the general population if you gave the insurance to some people for free there are those who wouldn't sign up...people are just funny about insurance. No price is right.

    And now you are switching gears, again, like a good politician for TV land. I remember when you were on the band wagon with then Candidate Barack Obama in putting our President George Bush down at every opportunity. He could do no good! And you were very self rightous about it all. I guess now Pres Barack Obama knows how it feels...He should apologize to President Bush for all that finger pointing. Obama knows very well now what Pres Bush was up against, no time like the present, and there is something about walking in someone elses shoes...that tells ya what it's like, yes and three fingers pointing back at ya"! This goes for you too Jack! Don't start attacking the Unions for defending themselves.... I wish you could find a political platform and stick to it...your just like the President -all over the place.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  188. Nelson Diaz

    Jack this is politics as usual. The same politics that Obama said for 2 years of campaigning that he would CHANGE. Its a prime example of how this administration continues business as usual when it comes to back door politics. The only CHANGE that is going on is the change of presidents who's engaging in these back door deals. Dems will strike any deal because they know after tonight they will no longer have the filibuster proof senate majority they need for "health care reform" The mid-term elections of 2010 cannot come any sooner. America will speak loud and clear.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  189. Neal Story

    I am not surprised at all. Obama has broken virtually every promise he made during his campaign. The fact that he still has about a 50% approval rating proves the ignorance of much of the American Public. He is a classic Chicago Politician.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  190. Ted Brandner

    No, it does not surprise me at all that such secret negotiations take place. Similarly it does not surprise me that the trial lawyers got all bills stripped of any attempts at tort reform associated with med malpractice – including any mention of caps for award fees for attorneys.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  191. truthislove45

    Obama is a master double talker. Anyone that ever beleived Obama is a sincere man, has their blinders on. Alls they heard were spiritual polluted messages hope and change, hope and change. Short change yes he can, hope not in his hands. Apart from Jesus Christ there is no change and true hope. A man who promises transparency and has closed door meetings with unions, show his duplicity. He will saying ANYTHING with a smile to push his agendas. The smog is thick with this man. Jesus said repent, I am the WAY! Obama would be wise too stop saying he's the way of hope and change. UNLESS THE LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE THE LABORES LABOR IN VAIN. In vain they have worked, thus they crafted HUGE bills in the darkness. They certainly didn't invite the Lord to the table, because there no room for light in what they are currently doing. God bless!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  192. Janet

    It is no surprise that unions were invited into secret negotiations. The unions are all about taking care of themselves. The Obama administration is no different. The rest of us be dammed.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  193. Eric from Pembroke Pines, FL

    No. Its business as usual Jack. When will we wake up in this country and put "the country" first? Enough with the Dems and the Reps. We seem to constantly endure this back and forth between parties every 4 years or during mid-terms....people who have delivered nothing but lies during the campaigns in an effort gain that o so precious vote to gain power. We need people with integrity in government and until we "really" find them and get them to work for us in Washington, this back and forth will never change.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  194. mack

    no this does not surprise me, but what does is the fact that the major news groups are finally seeing the light . summerville, sc

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  195. Anne Williams

    No, I was not surprised. This president is determined to have his own way regardless of public opinion.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  196. Sue Bakken

    No. Obama told SEIU members that before he did anything about healthcare he would speak to Andy Stern. Andy Stern has been at the White House over 30 times so far. Where were you guys when all this was going on?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  197. Des Bowen, Kingston, WA

    I'm not surprised at all. No one else should be surprised either if they know anything about the shady quid pro quo deals that are the foundation of Chi-town politics – politics that the Obama's are all too familiar with. This meeting was nothing less than criminal.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  198. Dave Tilley

    As an independent who supported President Obama's election I am disappointed with some of the Presidents plans, but this just seems like a backstabbing. Especially to all the independents who put their weight behind his election.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  199. Gerald E Kerns

    Where were you when Dick Cheney gathered in secret with representatives of the major energy industries when it came to drafting energy policy during the Bush years? Where were you when the GOP House in the middle of the night forced a vote on their drug program during the middle 1960;s? At the same time, are you saying unions,whose membership is around 10% today any match for the power of the corporations who dominate Congress and obviously the media.

    Gerald E Kerns

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  200. Steve Britt

    Jack –

    I am shocked at your naked assertion that the President "lied." It's harsh and unseemly. I agree,however, that Mr. Obama knowingly and intentionally deceived us with malice prepense on this point. That seems beyond cavil.

    Steve Britt
    Lawyer
    Plymouth Meeting PA 19462

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  201. Terry from Austin

    Well here we go again. Politicians seem to leave their value systems behind when it comes to getting what they want. The Democrats justify this by saying that the ends justify the means so anything goes–regardless of who gets hurt or who pays-as long as they win. Justice or doing the right thing for the right reason has nothing to do with getting this mess of a Healthcare Bill passed.
    Terry of Austin.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  202. Frederick Frank

    Of course, I'm not surprised that unions were invited into secret health care negotiations. Secrecy is the natural environment for illicit love affairs; where else would the Democrats cuddle up with their union cronies? So much for transparency, Mr. Obama. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  203. Jim

    Jack,
    It's politics as usual. That is why the American people do not trust the government to do what is right. Whether it is the left or the right, politicians are no longer interested in what the American people want, they are only interested in their political agenda. Most of the politicians in Washington are lawyers. Maybe we need to replace them with accountants or at least 5th graders who can add, subtract, divide and multiply. They would understand that you cannot subtract more than you have without a negative number or in the case of politicians, a negative reaction.

    Anyone who expected Obama to be any different than any other politician is blinded by the dream vs. the reality. The light they see is not the end of the tunnel, but the train getting ready to run over them.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  204. .Craig Hartel

    Union members and other people in the country gave up expected salary for health care in these badly named "Cadillac plans". It's a tax on the middle class! The middle class will already have deal with no public option and no medicare buy-in, so it's not unreasonable to scoff at a tax on middle class workers with so much given away already. The house bill taxes the top 2%, those who we need to get the money to pay for the health care reform. They are doing great after Bush, pretty much the only ones that benefited from his economics.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  205. Kelly

    Am I surprised unions were let in to secret healthcare negotiations? And given a sweetheart deal, thereby punishing non-union Americans w/ the same so-called cadillac plans?

    HELL. NO.

    The unions bought Obama's presidency. So obviously he has to repay them. No matter how dirty it looks. These people have no shame.

    Obama does NOT govern to the people. Her governs exclusively to special interests and ideology.

    Wake up, people. They are lying to you constantly.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  206. Ralph Thompson

    I am writing from Tucson, Arizona. Yes, I am surprised about the meetings. Just when I thought I could trust them, they go and prove to me that the Dems and Reps are all alike. Just a bunch of lying SOB's. What do we do?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  207. Therese Rigo

    No, not surprised. The only change Obama has brought has been his 180 degree turn around on changing Washington. Nothing has changed except that it's Democrats turn to put their party first and prove that they can be even stupider than the Republicans were. Hope Americans keep voting out those who put the party above country. Maybe eventually we'll get real bi-partisanship and bills that go beyond simplistic, naive, special interest and party driven ideologies. A house divided cannot stand. It's about time "Party First" Democrats and Republicans get that through their thick skulls.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  208. Terry Griffith

    Surprised no, disappointed greatly. Who knows what is in President Obama's health care bill. Time to start over!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  209. Christine

    The politicians are all the same. Speak with forked tongue. No one cares about the taxpayers, just special interest groups. No change here, same stuff they accused the other party of. I don't think there are enough "rich" people to fund the entire health care plan, so as usual middle class will probably carry the load. It all makes me sick. So much for campaign promises. We know they never last.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  210. Brent

    Am I surprised that back door sweetheart deals are removing even more money from an already broken, unintelligible health care plan? Of course not.

    I am surprised at the brazenness of their corruption, and the openness of their deceit. It's like watching the Sopranos.

    If the Democrats think we're not paying attention... well, then Massachusetts will only be the first of their wake-up calls.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  211. Joe

    I'm an independent that is disgusted by the behavior of the Democratic Party in general, and this $60 billion pay off to the unions in particular. There has been no transparency in this process as promised by Obama in the 2008 election, and worse yet, he has violated his promise to reach across the aisle by shutting Republicans out of the debate and paying off his union backers. It is completely unethical to run on the ideals of "change we can believe in", "transparency", and "open debate" and then do the exact opposite.

    I implore all independents to teach this administration a lesson in the 2010 midterm elections (and beyond in 2012), and I implore Democrats to start representing the moderates that were responsible for your election to office.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  212. Dale from "fixed" Illinois

    Are you kidding me Jack? How could anyone be surprised, given that Obama and his cronies come out of crooked Chicago politics? This was the big reason why I didn't vote for Obama.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  213. Rebecca Palmer

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Certainly we are surprised. As registered Republicans who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, we are appalled at the lack of promised "transparency" and the expected burden on we, the middle class masses that Obama so ardently proclaimed to be the members of the population he wanted to help – the backbone of our American society. As usual, the Democrats are succumbing to pork barrel politics as usual. Where is the "change" we were promised if Obama was elected? I worry for myself and my husband – but more than that, I worry for my children and their future families.
    Health care is such a complex issue – the rush to pass a bill is scary. He took more time to decide to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan while his advisors waited and waited. A separate issue – but 30,000 for a vast place as Afghanistan? How is that to help?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  214. Steve from California

    Hi Jack,
    Suprised? Not in the least. As you noted, this is "Chicago politics" at it's best ( meaning American Politics at it's worst). Nothing about this healthcare overhaul (takeover) has been open and transparent. The will of the citizens is not being followed in this process. Yes, we need an overhaul of healthcare to contain and reverse costs. But what is being pushed here has nothing to do with that. We are seeing more ways for government to take control, add new committees, Czar's, personnel to track statistics and so on. More government, little if anything that is really beneficial to the average American who actually pays taxes. My wonderful representative Pelosi is doing her best to ensure those who don't have a government supplied airplane will pay for everything she doesn't have too.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  215. Jim

    Why would anyone be surprised? The Insurance Companies, Drug Companies, Industry and Trade Groups, Hospitals and Doctors have all cut thier secret sweetheart deals already, so why wouldn't the unions be next?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  216. Shannon

    Jack
    The words hope and change must mean something different to President Obama. He's given them a whole new ugly meaning. His behind the scenes deal are a complete turnoff to anyone with an ounce of integrity. First Landrieu sold her vote, than the house version threw women under the bus, there were deals with the drug companies, Ben Nelson got in the game, and sold his vote, but the icing on the cake for me was the union deal. How can one group of people be exempt from a tax, that others in the exact same circumstances have to pay just because they don't belong to a group bought off by the Obama administration. Obama, Reid and Peolsi are going to ruin the party, I know they've lost me. I've had enough of hope and change!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  217. Charles Cozad

    I guess I'm not surprised by the union involvement, but I think it is a lousy shame that us taxpayers were promised a plan that would save us money in the future, only to find out now it will just benefit interest groups like the unions and screw us all in the end! The U.A.W. should be thankful that most of their members, still have jobs.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  218. John

    Of course not. Glenn Beck has been telling me about the relationship between President Obama and SEIU's Andy Stern for months. When will liberals realize they've been hijacked by progressives? When will CNN start telling both sides of every story before in a timely fashion?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  219. Brian

    Surprised about the secret talks? The only surprise is that you would ask such a question of an inquiring public. It once again raises the question: If it is such a great deal, why do negotiators have to keep buying off senators and well-connected groups? There are lots of things that need fixing in health care, but their overreach in the pursuit of "making a mark on history" is rapidly making these politicians "historical", as in soon to be "history" themselves.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  220. Don

    Typical, it is about time that the main stream media starts informing the public what Obama is doing . This is just one of many issues he is leading the USA down the wrong path. This entire Health Care issue is just WRONG.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  221. Chris Spencer

    UNIONS?? SECRET MEETINGS??DEMOCRATS??........WOW, NOW THERE'S SOMETHING NOVEL!!! This type of pinkie-ring politics has been going on in the Democratic Party since Christ-was-a-Corporal!!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  222. Nelson Diaz Philadelphia Pa

    Jack this is politics as usual. The same politics that Obama said for 2 years of campaigning that he would CHANGE. Its a prime example of how this administration continues business as usual when it comes to back door politics. The only CHANGE that is going on is the change of presidents who's engaging in these back door deals. Dems will strike any deal because they know after tonight they will no longer have the filibuster proof senate majority they need for "health care reform" The mid-term elections of 2010 cannot come any sooner. America will speak loud and clear.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  223. David Sneade

    From Las Vegas:

    Who thought giving any special group, especially unions a sweetheart deal was a good idea? This exemption will cost billions of dollars and not just to non-union workers but to every other taxpayer. A line in "Animal Farm" by George Orwell reflects the current Congress' attitude: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  224. Grace

    There is something about the words "Union, politicians, and secrets" that make me sure we should have been prepared for this to happen. Why is it that we take exception with this issue today when this type of behavior specifically "back office deals that cost american taxpayers money" got us into 2 wars but now we should be appauled because there is progress in healthcare for the middleclass? Really Jack, really?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  225. Peter

    Dear Mr. Obama
    What happened to transparency????

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  226. Ben

    Anybody that has paid attention to what has been going on for the past year would certainly not be surprised about any back room deals being made.

    Ocean Shores WA

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  227. diane

    how many times now have you complained about the cspan thing? The fact is that I have seen what is going on with health care on the floor of the senate and the congress on cspan, Jack. You need cable, by the way.
    I have been able to follow everything going on in the health care debates and have not found anything hard to find out about. All you have to do is try alittle bit.
    the problem with the media these days is that they are so busy trying to pander to what they think is populism when in fact it is just a bunch on posturing because so few have a realistic picture about us out here in the heartland.
    We are not all rightwing fringie teabaggers.
    Some of us actually understand that it takes longer then one year to clean up after 8 years of dirt.
    And because I live in Illinois, I also know that the stereotype of Chicago is so old. Capone died decades ago and I believe you have a long way to go to catch up with New Orleans and Newark and other far more corrupt places.
    Quit pandering. The media needs to get back to educating the viewers rather then trying to pretend you know how we feel and pretend you are also oh so populist.
    Newsflash: the populists you think are out there are actually the rightwing racists and teabaggers pouting about losing in 08

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  228. Jesse Warren

    How can you be surprised? Big business and unions prevail. Axelrod will be known throughout history as the biggest con artist since we convinced the Indians to pay 24.00 for Manhatten. He con a very naive senator elected who wants to make everyone happy at the expense of you and I. How about government paid health plan like the senators have until one is written that will pass approval of all valid US citizens. We can always put a rider in later for illegals.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  229. denny

    whay else is new? washington is full of thieves and obama is their leader. and as always the american public gets screwed again and as always the unions are leading the way with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the people of hati will pay along with us-you noticed the isralis have medical surgery but not the us–surprise!!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  230. Mike Blue

    Am I surprised unions were invited into secret health care negotiations? No. Am I surprised at Obama and the Democrats saying one thing and doing another? No. Am I surprised they would pay off labor unions and shaft the American people? No.

    The last administration (Bush) was inept. This administration (Obama) is very possibly the most corrupt in the last 100 years (minimum). They pay off their political cronies while America sinks deeper and deeper into debt. Somehow, they see themselves as the good guys. They portray anyone who disagrees with them in any way as racist, (as if you have to be racist to be against Socialist policies).

    President Obama has fooled too many of the American people. He is not a great President, he is simply another crooked politician who can speak eloquently.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  231. Lloyd Myers

    Hi Jack. You think the union workers are not taxpayers.? You seem to be talking more like Lou Dobbs everyday. I bet you have health insurance. As far as haveing every meeting open to you. That would be plain stupid. Obama Never said he would have a camera follow him to the bathroom .. I used to like your views. Now to biase / Why/

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  232. Jimmy D

    I trust politicians a lot more than any single union official in the world. They will bleed this situation dry like they always have, at the cost of taxpayers.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  233. Colleen

    This is in regards to the woman who was just pulled from the rubble that is being reported right now and specificly whether or not she is going to die before she gets medical attention.

    Please stop reporting about her possibly dying! Please remember her family is watching! That is how her son heard she was alive!

    You don't have to post this when you read it I just didn't where else to be able to contact you immediately.

    Thank you

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  234. Adam

    I am not surprised that Obama and fellow democrats are keeping the media out health care mediations... They are willing to concede money to make any type of change, even though this change would obviously not be fiscally benefical. Democrats are willing to sacrifice anything for change, even though it would not benefit America.

    Democrats are redefining the way they were doing bussiness, and the public and the Massachusetts voters are seeing right through the the democrats 'smoke and mirrors'. Massachusetts, and the rest of America are sick of the special interest group, excess spending by government, and all the gamese that Democrats have been playing since President Obama has taken office. This is why the senate race in Massachusetts is so close.

    Adam
    Tewksbury, MA

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  235. Tarpon

    The Democrats have lost all credibility in seeking solutions to improve access to and cost of healthcare. They protect their buddies (unions, lawyers....) and couch it all in sanctimonius terms. The President and Congress are NOT an improvement on their predecessors and the Congress we are stuck with is now in their 3rd year. God help this country!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  236. mike evans

    Jack,

    Nothing about the present administration surprises me. They're like all the rest. I am soo disappointed with democrats, republicans and Congress in general. They're all a bunch of crooks!

    By the way, you better be careful with your questions or you may end up on the unemployment line like Lou Dobbs.

    You and Lou Dobs have provided the balance that validates CNN News. Keep up the good work.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  237. mary

    I teach medical technologists to use medical equipment to save lives.
    i am not in a union and make aprroximatley the same as a union teacher. is there a democrat out there who can explain why a union teacher would get a break on taxes that i don't get.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  238. Jim Moore, St. Louis MO

    Yes Jack..it smells like a ROSE! Only a Democratic President would give the ordinary working stiff a chance to argue for their rights along with the Amer Med Assn (the Doc's), the hosptitals, big Pharma ... all of whom have made their case with multimillion dollars in lobbying to the White House and Congress...both parties. Union members have agreed to a tax on their benefits...but only after thier current contracts have expried...contracts in which they gave up wage increases for health benefits. Honor the law...honor contracts. And they made thier case known publically...how secret is that? These talks are only being held in the white house because the Repubs made it clear they did not want to participate but only to block any decisions. By the way, conference committee meetings are also secret... AND NOT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAS! BE A REAL JOURNALIST OR GET OFF THE AIR.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  239. leon

    No. I'm not surprised. The powerful health industry got their way with the bill. Hence, the Unions deserve their share too. Unions have a right to lobby and thier closer to the small man than the health industry.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  240. T.L.Barrett

    I knew when President Obama ran for office the smell was too thick. End Washington"s business as usual (pew-wee it's getting thick around here. That's why me, a long time democrat voted for McCain. Thank God for my V.A benefits.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  241. jim elliott

    Jack, the so called deal for union members aint all that you and the media make it out to be,first off ya have to have a plan that employers pay more than 23000 for and that aint many, my wife is in a so called cadilac plan and the employer pays 17000 a yr.and some non union plans cost more than that.......get off the union thing.......

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  242. Lon Clay Hill

    I don't see much difference between making compromises with ungodly Republicans who work on almost nothing but tax cuts for those who don't need them and making comromises for union workers who have better health plans than many of us. Get outraged at Republican greed – & then I will listen to your discomfort with Obama's compromises.
    The President – whether he is on the right track or the wrong track – has to make compromises with Democrats and Republicans. He also has to make compromises with the American People who sometimes think they can pass by on the other side of the road as we live shorter lives than the people of Europe, Canada, and Japan with our broken health care system.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  243. Guyrlene

    Im responding to Mark about his stupid comment on letting Haitians in as refugees. Before answering any questions, you should do research, be sure of what you're talking about and be aware of what's going on around you. Ignorance is the dominion of absurdity.
    Where did you get that Haitians are not educated or went to school for only 2.5 years?

    I completely disagree with that comment
    I was born and raised in Haiti, went to HS for 13 year, went to college in Haiti. I have friends back in Haiti that are doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc... What you might see on TV is not what you think. Im haitian and I know more about your country than you'll ever know about mine.
    Guyrlene

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  244. Marie

    Of course it's not surprising that a "sweetheart deal" was made between congress and the unions...to most of us out in the real world, this appears to be the only way congress operates...whoever has the most money wins. I don't blame the unions for getting involved, that's their job...just like AARP, and the other special interest groups.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  245. Pete

    Thanks for brining this sham to light. Obama lied. Healthcare Reform as reflected in the current bills is too expensive with little value add, and the people know it. Special Interest have cut their deals (Unions and Nebraska) behind closed doors. Chigaco politics is not the change I believe in.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  246. john thomson

    No , I am not . nothing has changed only become worse . I would love to have faith that some of our elected people would represent us .

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  247. Richard

    Jack – We're already buried in pro-union legislation here in the BLUE state of New York. Thank-you for some real reporting on President Obama's gift giving to unions. Of course there was also the last minute amendment that EXCLUDED construction companies from the small business exemption of the health care "reform", which just so happens to effect mostly NON-union companies. This only the first year....go Scott Brown, GO!!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  248. Corey Johnson

    No Jack, I'm not surprised. Whether it's behind-the-door health care negotiations or undercover lobbyists, the American people are constantly being ignored. It's beyond contemptible........we vote for these politicians ONLY to have our needs ignored! Will there EVER exist a true lobbyist for the American people?!! They pretend to care about our needs ONLY when they need our vote! DESPICABLE!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  249. keith

    Why are we acting "brand new". We knew politics was a dirty game a long time ago, long before O'bama became the president. Why do we care if the cameras are there or not. Why not talk about all of the people that was helped by this "sweetheart deal" most this this countries firefighers and police officers and the rest of the working class stiffs were help by this deal. It is amazing that we went to war with the wrong country and re-elecated the guy who sent us to war. Now we are talking about health care and saving lives and all we do is search for a reason to gripe. Jack did you think about all of the blue collar men and women and their families this is gonna help? No, you are ticked because the cameras were not there. Who cares Jack. It looks as if they got it right. After watching us go to war with the wrong country I could not care less how they get the job done as long as they get it done and get it done right!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  250. David Rogers

    Well, the president has shown his true colors: he's a politician–not a leader. He was very good at getting elected, and not so hot at honoring his commitments and convictions. The healthcare debate hasn't really been a debate at all. The democrats have capitulated on all important points–a bunch of career politicians who have better health care than any of us regular guys and gals. I want all of them put on their worthless "plan."

    This plan is a joke–my brother is a physician in PA, and he says it only makes U.S. healthcare worse–for everyone.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  251. Ted

    The "open and transparent" discussion on Health Care and Health Care Insurance has turned into secret discussions behind closed doors. Is anybody surprised that 'progressive' and left sided arguments consider some people "more equal" than regular folk? I'm not surprised, just disappointed.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  252. Erick

    Yes, I am surprised, but i am glad they are speeding up to reach deal for that before Senator Scott Brown stops them. I want the healthcare form to be passed right away before he does. If he does that, late Ted Kennedy's dream will be destroyed. Republicans will be shamed for rest of their lives in the history.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  253. margie

    Why not allow the unions in. The insurance companies have been wining and dining the congressmen for months.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  254. Maria Cronin

    After listening to you this evening regarding the Unions being "behind closed doors" and the other "sweetheart deal w/the Senator", it is obvious who the President & the Democrat majority consider themselves to be working for.... and the rest of us just foot the bill. Truly sickening.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  255. Tom Loveless

    Not surprized about the Labor Union deal. Also, don't forget about

    The American Medical Association
    AARP
    The Drug Companies
    The Insurance Companies

    who ALL GOT deals also. Evidently the health care bill can't pass on it own merits so people, organizations, companies, etc. have to be BRIBED to support it.

    Tom Loveless
    Glasgow, KY 42141

    January 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  256. Richard Sanders

    I am not at all surprised that the Obama adminstration, including the Democratic-led Congress, is carrying on the long tradition in Washington of compromising the best interest of the country in exchange for political power. The deal that has been struck with the unions is a shameful act of desperation by a president who promised transparency in his political processes, and an office that would not be swayed by special interests. Apparently, those ideals lasted only as long as Mr. Obama's campaign.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  257. andy

    I am a union member.
    I don't agree with Obama's health care plan, or the union's support of him.
    But cadillac plan? LOL. Our union "negotiated" plan is through our union.
    WE have a YUGO plan.
    NO, I'm not surprised that the unions were invited to the negotiations.
    They're just worried about their slice of the pie, just like all the politicians.
    It's all a SCAM.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  258. George Bassett

    Jack,

    I have been a Union Sheet metal worker for 30 years. I currently pay 6.35 cents an hour for my health care. This is money that could have gone to my paycheck, but is negotiated for my health and welfare. I am currently, indirectly, paying for people without insurance, and you wish to tax me another 40%? I have not worked in over a year in my trade. Unemployment at my hall is currently 70% with the other 30% underemployed. Have you ever worked with your hands?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  259. Tom Worcester, MA

    Big fan of the Cafferty File... surprised? I am never surprised at what the criminals do in Washington do. They lie through their teeth and smile all the while expecting us to believe they have our best interests at heart when all they really care about is making a name for themselves and lining their pockets with special interest money. Oh, and as far as the senate race in Massachusetts... what a joke.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  260. Mitch

    Surprised by secret meetings with unions....heck no...the only surprise is that it took this long. Whether it's big business or unions....it's a sell out and now we can all sit back and wait for the next round of camp[aign promises....and who knows what the next buzz word will be in those campaigns....certainly transparency certainly won't be one of them.

    Mitch
    Buffalo, NY

    January 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  261. Gigi Oregon

    As a Democrat who would I want in a secret meeting corporate America or the Union...which has done the most for "We the people" give me a strong union any day. They might be corrupt but they did help to raise the standard of living I'm used too.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  262. Dan

    These politicians don't care about what the American people think, want or need. They come into Washington millionaires, and leave billionaires. They make backroom deals that pad the pockets of unions, lobbyists, corrupt non-profits, wallstreet and of course, THEMSELVES! What is there to be surprised about? It's business as usual.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  263. Marie

    For all you union members who say you gave up wages to have good healthcare benifits, well so did other people not in unions. We're supposed to pay the tax, that you don't have to. No, that's not the way it works, you're not entitled to special benefits, this will not stand. Obama is losing the healthcare debate over this kind of sleazy behavior.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  264. Mark Taylor RN

    Get off it. You or I were not invited to the dealmaking that led to the bombing of everyone and everything over weapons of mass destruction. Your righteous indignation caused me to go to a meeting. Perhaps you should too. Peace.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  265. Jim

    Thank you Jack. You just touched on the most talked about subject around our area lately. No, it doesn't supprice anyone. He has ran on idea's the people wanted to hear but as soon as he got elected, he does nothing for the ones who elected him. He has lied and will not get our votes next time. The people in washington has openly bribed others to get their vote on heathcare. Now he has the nerve to go on tv and say they were doing a great job...so he's no better.

    I personally do not have healthcare and would love to have it but..would never go along with the lies and dishonest things i see going on there. My question is...is there any honest people in washington left?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  266. Mike

    Sounds like ignorance on your part. For that so called "Cadillac Plan" we give up a large portion of our wage increase and at times all of it to get that premium coverage. Our costs go up every year and more wages are lost to keep and maintain that coverage. Why would anyone who actually works for a living would blame the Organized labor organizations for taking care of the membership. Most people have only benefitted from Organized labor. I can't even imagine what working conditions and health care would be like for the rest of the non-union workers in US if it wasn't for Organized labor. I do not agree with behind the doors negotiations but how much more does union labor have to sacrifice for the rest of the Ignorant and or arrogant people in the US. So when you take your next break or file a greivance with a non union employer think of what organized labor has sacrificed for you to have that option. We call it workers rights, not sure what you would call it.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  267. Don from Belleville Ontario

    Very surprised. Never has an election promise been more blatantly ignored. Excluding assets like CNN and its experts to explain to the public the points being negotiated borders on evil. Any reform bill catering only to friends of the Democrats will alienate everyone else. To comply with the truth in advertising laws, President Obama's new slogan should be "CORRUPTION YOU CAN BELIEVE IN".

    January 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  268. Guy Hall

    Surprised. Not really. Disappointed. Yes. Oh the Obama promises – transparency, no more lobbyists, change, drain the swamp, stop the wars, no more ear marks...........Jack, we bought it, and now we find it's all located 20 miles west of Miami, just a bunch of smelly swamp land. I think I need a shower.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  269. Pat Hudgins

    Who would have believed that the open and transparent Party of Go(Dems), would make the Party of No (Rep), look like Saints. All of these guys need a lesson in civics, serve the people or look for another job. Our worst enemy, are those who call the Capital their place of *****?
    Pat

    January 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  270. Colin - An interested observer from Canada

    Dear Jack:

    My memory may be vague, but isn't it the unions that gave the Democratic Party some $400,000,000 in campaign contributions and about 20,000 man years in "volunteers" during the last election. Surely that pays for the $60 billion in heath care tax relief, the disproportionate share they got of GM and Chrysler and the Union "Free Election" initiative. Fair is fair. I wonder what would happen if the Republicans got even 10% of that from the oil companies – I know – they would all go to jail.....

    January 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  271. Mark

    Yes i am surprised but grateful... Nice to see someone looking out for the working man/woman.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  272. BG

    No surprise here. There was payolla for Lousisiana and Nebraska. That was once a crime. The dem's are trying to buy their way past all obstacles. With the 3 stooges Pelosi, Reid and Frank involed in this. What do you expect?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  273. Gwen Swanger

    Are we surprised? The administration has continually been paying back the unions for the 2008 election; whether it is the large amount of TARP funds going to the auto makers (of which they are not requied to pay the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee even though they have not repaid any of the billions they have recieved from the program established to save the financial system), the cash for clunkers program which only sold cars but did not significantly improve gas efficiency, or this exclusion from taxes on health care. The Obama administration is taking care of its own – Chicago style – to the chagrin of the nation!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  274. James Sarna

    No new taxes to the middle class eh? 40 %?? what planet do these people live on? I guess we should have read his lips too

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  275. Joe

    The dream of a Democratic administration and Congress finally setting things right for the middle class has turned into a nightmare. Do we need any further proof that the entire political system in this country needs a complete overhaul ?

    I'm sick of the whole stinking mess!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  276. Don Gatti

    This is I called the grand dad of corruption.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  277. Lloyd

    Union workers are real Americans. If not for Unions we would still be working for 3 bucks an hour. Stop trying to stop the healt care bill. Obama never said you could follow him to the bath room. Your plain silly.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  278. Fran Claflin

    I think Obama is not doing what is promise him letting this Cadillac plan we the older group of people will suffer even more. I have thousands of dollars medical bills I can't paid now. Now I will have more I guess I won't be able to go to doctors anymore because I can't pay my bills. I guess he wants to just put us in a home and let us die

    January 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  279. David

    Not surprised...shocked and saddened. Thank you for not being afraid to report on this broken campaign promise. I think America got a little more 'change' than we bargained for. How appropriate it would be if tonight in Massachusetts 'We The People' told a corrupt government that We are in charge.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  280. George Ferdinand

    No, but I am glad that they were in the negotiations. Working people and consumers need a voice against Big Insurance, Big Drug Companies and Big Business. They already have enough lobbyists in their corner. Jack, without the labor movement their would hardly be any workers that have medical coverage paid by their employers for that matter. This issue is once again about who is going to pay for health care the poor can't so will it be the middle class or the rich?

    G Ferdinand
    Southgate, Michigan

    January 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  281. Ed from Michigan

    As a retired union autoworker, explain to me why we are still the media's whipping boy ! Now the media wants to incite low income people to think they will have to pick up my tax burden !! Why should I have to pay out of my pension to pay for someone elses healthcare !!! Maybe they should get a job , & quit having kids they can't afford to take care of !! Let's talk of the republican media swaying votes ! This is America & we can vote anyway we wish !

    January 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  282. grant

    Union reps invited into secret health care negotiations with Democrats, SHOCKER!!! The rules apply to everyone, but the Unions. My home city of San Diego is near bankruptcy because of our union officials and their benefit packages. God forbid we tax those benefits. Good luck America!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  283. matthew maldonado

    There would be no need for unions if employees were treated fair, given fair wages, healthcare and other benefits. Unfortunately Greed has been a reason why we need unions. Why in the hell would you get so upset about unions helping their members? For the past 8 years it has been the Insurance Company's having "SECRET MEETINGS" with the white house! Unions succeed from collective strength while Coporate greed benefit from Collective $$$....

    January 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  284. jimbo

    "Sweetheart deal"- what! Nebraska got a deal! so what this should be left up to the states and it should be made that a law like Hawaii has regarding medical coverage. Where your employer has to give you medical coverage when you work over so many hours a week. You must have a Cadillac plan ,so what you no like pay. Get a real job.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  285. Mark Marquez

    Jack,
    That's what we get Chicago back door politics. So much for Change!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  286. Kathie

    Wait till the ILLEGALS get their amnesty...Obama will through the unions under the bus.
    12 million more ILLEGAL votes.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  287. Steve in Montana

    This is no surprise. With the Unions money and power, of course their at the table along with everyother lobbyest. Nothing ever changes this is the way its' been done and will continue to be done.
    Business as usual. We're basicly domed and stuck in this rut.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  288. Brendan Breslin

    Jack,
    I'm not surprised that the unions got a "behind closed doors deal on healthcare. They just joined the club with Nebraska and Louisiana. I'm just one of the millions of poor slobs in the middle who are going to have to pay the freight for these sweetheart deals. Unless of course Obama lives up to another promise to veto healthcare that is not revenue neutral. Fat chance.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  289. Clara Biddle

    Jack all retirees pay in to thier healthcare. Scripts run $2-$300 a month and we have many deductables. 30-40 years of negotiations have built the middle class. So do you want it to be only the very rich and very poor in this country? Then go ahead and slam unions. Clara-Kokomo

    January 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  290. Lloyd Myers

    Jack. If these talks were so secret. Where did you get all the garbage your putting on my TV? Union workers are just voters same as me. I belonged to a Union for 40 years. Without Union we would have nothing.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  291. Antonio J Otero

    I am a retired GM salary worker,this was to be expected asmthis Administration pays its debt to the Unions..The irony is that Obama is losing the supporryt of the non union workers and independents that voted for him. A high percentage of UAW workers did not vote for Obama ,but they own him.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  292. James Sarna

    Why can't anyone tell us what a "Cadillac" health plan is?

    January 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  293. Marlene and Harry, Tampa, FL

    Outraged? Of course! Surprised? Of course not! We are surprised that you would think enough people would be surprised at this to even ask the question!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  294. Ian

    No we should not allow immigration from this country based on a natural disaster. Hati's immeadiate neighbors will not allow them into their countries.
    If this is allowed , whats next an earthquake in India or China . It is just more plain stupidity. All of these places are just totally overpopulated and unsustainable as will this country be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  295. Susannah

    You got it right tonight Jack!!!! LOVE it.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  296. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Sweetheart deals/ no bid contracts not our government

    January 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  297. BobbyC

    When are all the SWEET HEART deals going to stop?

    When the ship is sinking, all hands bale. To hell with the gifted few that are able to to dump the load on the rest of us.

    The Unions are just as corrupt and self serving as the lobbist that control the house and senate with all their easy money, The day is coming, so please keep up with your Sweet deals for the few, and the rest of the country thru the vote and and just pissed off with the whole mess. will do what needs to be done. Let the chips fly

    January 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  298. Julie, Sandwich MA

    Surprised? Not now, given the way things have transpired over the past 14 months. Shocked - YES. Obama promised transparency, etc., and what we've seen so far is anything but. No surprise Coakley will lose the contest for teh Senate seat - people have lost faith in Obama and his campaign promises - socialism is not something our country id ready for, and Obama's tactics, since his election, have done nothing to "win the hearts and minds" of the American public. And I voted for him...

    January 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  299. Larry

    No surprise Jack. Just another instance of an administration that knows no limit on how to abuse the power of the presidency. Czars and doing the peoples business in back rooms where no media are permitted to observe the proceedings. Nothing this administration will do now will be surprising. Unethical shenanigans are the norm for those participating behind closed doors, every last one of them. Voters will have the last say in this game of who has the power. Vote all the incumbents out America. Flush Washington out this fall. It may be our only chance to save this great country.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  300. Aonian

    Hey guys, quit justifying your partys bad behavior by pointing out the others corruption. As far as I'm concerned there is only one party and that is the Republocrats. They are a like a virus that make our Repulic sick. This party is well known for dividing people against eachother and then reaping the rewards while we quarrel with eachother. Obama is just another puppet of the elite just like George Bush. It's no big surprise to those of us who have been reading between the lines.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  301. chuck wilkinson

    Jack I usually enjoy your comments but your critisism of unions is unfair. Ever since Ronald Reagan unions have been getting kicked in the teeth. Business has spent millions trying to make unions look bad, while the only goal of organized labor is to improve the quality of life for their members. While corporations and wall street have lined their pockets with enourmous wealth, unions have lost membership, from about fourty percent of American workers in 1960, to 7 percent today. The result has been devastating for Americans. Its about time unions were given a break.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  302. frank

    im a teamster in the trucking business and i can assure you my health care plan isnt any where near a cadilac plan with the deductable and copay etc non cadilac plans are far superior to mine.I have had to give back 15 percent pay reduction and a 18 month pension accruel suspension just to keep the company i work for solvent and hopefully maintain a job.if the outcome is to tax my healthcare i would prefer to receive my healthcare preimum in my weekly pay and i will buy my own insurance or have none at all and rely on my county hospital for healthcare

    January 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  303. Lloyd

    Jack. Meeting was not to secret. Union leaders represent thousands.obama never said you could take your camera into the bathroom.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  304. Tim Harrison

    No.I am not surprised at all at Obama's behind closed door tactics. He has lied to the American public from day one. After the bailout fiasco that took place without the public's approval, what makes this any different. He's a liar and backstabber who is out for his own gain. The middle class tax payers are going to foot the bill again and seniors are the most vulnerable. Obama will do anything to further his goals. This "stinks" to high heavens. If he can appoint "Czars" not approved by congress, what else can he do to bring down this country. I am 64 years old and a retired government law enforcement officer. I am ashamed to call myself an American citizen now.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm |