22
Mar
10

On air: Has President Obama done the right thing with healthcare?

When I tweeted this morning asking what people would like to talk about Megha in India immediately tweeted back “the health bill definitely is THE news”.

And, she is right the blogosphere is alive with debate other whether the landmark healthcare reform bill is a good or a bad thing for the US.

Here and here bloggers are hailing  it as a victory and a historic moment.  Being retweeted around twitter is this message “Hello America! Germany says, Welcome to 1883! The UK says, Welcome to 1911! France says, Welcome to 1930!”

Elizabethjune9 in Canada tweets : “Congratulations to our friends in America. Excited that the Health Care Bill passed.”

Frank Schaeffer blog is brimming with praise for Obama, hailing the healthcare reform bill as an historic victory which puts his critics to shame.

But, Bradford21’s blog is less enthusiastic and asks “How is making health care mandatory going to help the public? Especially when the debt is that of the public?”

Whilst many seem  confused how the Healthcare reform could be a bad thing  this blogger gives a detailed summary of all the potential negatives of this reform bill.

How do you feel about the healthcare reform bill? Is it a good or a bad thing for the US? Do you understand the opposition to it?


199 Responses to “On air: Has President Obama done the right thing with healthcare?”


  1. 1 T
    March 22, 2010 at 11:54

    If this bill does these three things, then it IS reform:
    Completely eliminate pre-existing conditions for EVERYBODY.
    Stop all health coverage firm tax breaks and subsidies.
    Finally give trauma survivors the care that they need.

    If not, then this is just as bad as bailing out the banks and car companies.

    • 2 JoLinda - Harlem, NYC
      March 22, 2010 at 18:45

      Bad piece of legislation. I can purchase on the open competitive market health insurance for my two dogs, but my husband and I cannot in NYC because the monthly premium is more than our mortgage payment and it is only for catastrophic incidences.

      I’ve had good health insurance all my life, but now I’ve been to the hospital without health insurance and illegal aliens get better treatment than Americans.

      I want to know the prices of what procedures cost and do competitve shopping. I want to be able to purchase anything I wish in the open market based on my variables, not government mandates as I purchase car, life, homeowners & burial insurance. Hiring 16,000 new IRS agents – “men in black” to police this new law is “Logan’s Run” coming to life!

      If the state barriers were dropped thousands of small business insurance agents could grow and new revenue streams would be created. As an African-Americans this takes us back 40 years and more to “plantation living by depending on the overseer” vs. ourselves.

      This “ill bill” is to this century as “Prohibition” was to the 20th century.

  2. 3 T
    March 22, 2010 at 11:57

    To opponents of this bill, keep these in mind.

    The whole purpose of the previous system was to deny you care (at all costs). A woman being pregnant was a pre-existing condition. Yet, there were millions of people saying we LIKE this system. How could any sane person support that (iMO)?

  3. 4 Nigel
    March 22, 2010 at 11:59

    The 32 million people who have become the victim of an apparent conspiracy between the hospitals/doctors and the insurance companies that bars them from affording top healthcare and makes cost prohibitive to others. Insurance rates continue to rise even though the medical risk stays the same or goes down as procedures and care improves.

  4. 5 james Ian
    March 22, 2010 at 12:05

    Well seeing how most politicians don’t do anything unless it is advantages to their bank account I guess it’s a win for them, but most likely that will be all.

  5. 6 Cabe UK
    March 22, 2010 at 12:08

    America should have done this years ago… There was a point yesterday on the news when it said that the Republicans may boycott this and I thought to myself that if they did then it would be for selfish, selfserving reasons and nothing to do with the Country or their people… but they did not and it’s gone through – Well Done America and Good Luck…

    Reading the list of “Whys” this Bill would be ‘bad’ for America is sad… its all about money – nothing to do with the qaulity of life, all about whose pocket it will hurt and not about those who are ill and dying and who can’t help themselves getting a hand up…
    …..Well folks – here’s an idea for revenue, why not tax all your overpaid and your overstuffed doctors there – who by my reckoning, appear to all have made a huge profit out of the sick and dying… 🙂

  6. 7 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 12:27

    The requirement that everyone must buy health insurance will be the downfall of the law since that requirement is unconsitutitonal. The federal government has no power to make someone purchase something. Even with automobile insurance, the requirement is done on the state level, and ONLY if you drive a car. Because the mandate for insurance will be struck down in the courts, the law will fail because premiums will rise so much for those who do buy insurance. The left needs a constitutional amendment to do what they want to, without it, they will fail and make the situation a lot worse.

    • 8 James Loudermilk
      March 22, 2010 at 13:06

      YEP!!

    • 9 Chintan in Houston
      March 22, 2010 at 18:04

      @ Steve
      Constitution is not written in stone. In fact it is an evergreen document. Hence there were amendments added to it.
      A healthy country is a prosperous country. We have public school system which produces most of the intelligent kids that are tomorrows scientists, teachers, doctors, law makers, congressmen. doctors, etc.
      A well regulated society prevents discrimination which the current health system was, hence this is a landmark bill. It is definitely not perfect but with time and lessons learnt from the drawbacks it can be edited. A first step had to me made and this was in the right direction.

      • 10 TomK in Mpls
        March 22, 2010 at 20:58

        There is a constitutionally correct step to dramatically reduce health care costs. First remove all laws restricting free trade between states on health insurance. Second, eliminate tax incentives currently tying health insurance to the workplace. Car insurance is an excellent comparison to the problems with health care. When you loose your job, or move, you don’t loose car coverage. You can change companies at any time. If there is no lapse in coverage, no price hikes can will be charged.

        This will promote money saving competition and can be done with less government and cost, not more.

  7. 11 patti in cape coral
    March 22, 2010 at 12:59

    From personal experience and those of my friends, this bill could only be an improvement, it really couldn’t get much worse. Even those of us who have insurance end up paying crazy premiums, then crazy bills for all the stuff that isn’t covered. It seems to be that insurance companies are going to have a lot of competition now, and isn’t competition good for business, as well as drives costs down?

  8. 12 Roy, Washington DC
    March 22, 2010 at 13:13

    This bill is being touted as a major victory for Americans, but it doesn’t fix what needs to be fixed.

    There are three main things that need fixed under our current system. First, malpractice lawsuits need to be reigned in. Second, drug companies need to be prevented from giving doctors kickbacks. Third, direct-to-consumer drug advertising needs to be banned.

    To keep this post reasonably short, I won’t go into too much detail here, but health care costs are out of control in the USA, and will continue to be out of control even with this new bill. These three factors are major reasons why. (I should also say that forcing people to buy something doesn’t seem too American to me.)

    • 13 margaret
      March 22, 2010 at 18:03

      Absolutely we need tort reform but like the “public option” it fell by the wayside.

      Margaret Tacoma, WA

    • 14 Chintan in Houston
      March 22, 2010 at 18:11

      @ Roy,
      Malpractice lawsuits in the the country account for less than 1% of the total healthcare costs.
      The number of malpractice suits have been continuously decreasing.
      Do you see doctors loosing their homes or standing in the unemployment lines?….no, why not? They make tons of money already. Don’t get me wrong, i think they do a wonderful job and definitely deserve the money they make but at the same time i don’t have any pity for them for paying a few extra $$$ for medical malpractice insurance.

  9. 15 James Loudermilk
    March 22, 2010 at 13:21

    Well wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take care of every need of every person. Everyone should be able to eat right? Regardless of if they can buy their own food, it’s a necessary function of life so our government should make sure everyone eats three meals a day. And everyone needs a house to live in right? So what they can’t afford one because they are spending all their money of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, cell phones, lap tops and all sorts of other stuff, it’s something everyone should be entitled to right. How about at car? Everybody needs a car right or at least some kind of free transportation? I heard the other day that access to the internet is considered a basic human right, better make sure everyone has a computer and high-speed internet. Wait!! Heck, if all this stuff is going to be given to me why don’t I just quit my job? I mean if all this stuff and health care is going to be paid for by the government why do I need to work? Heck lets all quit our jobs looks like we will be able to have our cake and eat it to. Well hold on…. Then who is going to pay the taxes to pay for all this stuff???
    I’m just saying where is the stopping point? When have you spread yourself so thin that you reach the breaking point? Isn’t there some historical evidence that when a civilization takes on too much it eventually fails?

  10. 16 Bob in Qld
    March 22, 2010 at 13:28

    The law isn’t much of a victory for anyone. It’s too little, too late–and the process has been too divisive. That the USA should have universal health care is undeniable (unless you’re an American paranoid about “creeping socialism”) but the compromise law has all of the problems and costs and few of the benefits.

    Alas, the deep divisions in American politics make true reform impossible and the USA is condemned to pay double the average for a third rate, non-inclusive health system.

  11. 17 Uzondu Esionye
    March 22, 2010 at 13:41

    Though the majority care less about the healthcare reform bill in the US, some of us have been following this debate and have come to learn that the Americans have indeed accepted the idea of change. this bill, according to analyst, is a landmark in the US history.I think the president has been quite sucessfully in explaining what this bill has, especially for the poor.let give him a pat on the back for that.

  12. 18 Subhash C Mehta
    March 22, 2010 at 13:55

    The US health-care reform bill vindicates the fact that the world is now very concerned, more than ever before, to attain and maintain higher social values for the general good of the societies. I’m very sure that the global economy, especially after the recent economic meltdown, is taking a new look and presenting a better face- people/environment-friendly. The passing of the health-care bill is a tribute to the true and just spirit of capitalism; it will have a profound effect on the economic thinking and functioning of other nations too.

    • 19 TomK in Mpls
      March 22, 2010 at 21:05

      What? You call locking in a couple of corporations into long term government contracts, excluding all competition, capitalism. Price fixing, and trade restrictions are not capitalism. You need to get a dictionary.

  13. 20 Mark Doswell
    March 22, 2010 at 13:59

    I understand that many Americans are against Obama’s health care legislation because they believe market forces & competition should rule.

    From a global perspective the competition for America is China, India, Germany and other major economies. America needs a healthy, well educated population to survive in the future world.

    The US government is the one player that stands to gain higher economic output & tax revenues by having the fittest population for the lowest cost.

    Players such as insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals and doctors only have an incentive to make money for themselves (i.e. reject poor health risks, profit from patents, not treat too sick people etc).

    So isn’t the real competitive game here America against the world, rather than protected lobbies against the American people?

    • 21 margaret
      March 22, 2010 at 18:11

      Market forces, unchecked, have enriched a few, and brought the rest of us to our knees with this world financial crisis. Spiralling health care costs out of the pockets of businesses (among a host of other things) have heavily contributed to America’s ability to compete in a global market where other countries businesses don’t have to pay out for health care. It’s also the right thing to do to ensure that people have health care, even though America falls way too short even with this bill. Now we need to continue to work reform the health care system, and the education system, and the financial system, and the infrastructure, agribusiness, the list goes on and on and on. If not, we’re on our way to being a third rate nation.

      Margaret Tacoma, WA

  14. March 22, 2010 at 14:07

    This is longer overdue and very much needed. I applaud it. Job well done!

  15. 23 tope
    March 22, 2010 at 14:34

    Two things will happen;
    1. America will be more indebted
    2. Illegal immigrants will benefit the more; this will lead to societal (and unfortunately, more racial tension and ultimately violence). this guy has just got the ingredients ready for America’s ultimate demise.
    I hope his party will end up losing in November! I really hope so!

  16. 24 T
    March 22, 2010 at 14:49

    Ok, U.K. WHYS listeners. A show of hands. If Obama signs this into law, how many of you would willingly switch from NHS coverage to this?

  17. 25 T
    March 22, 2010 at 14:50

    Why is single payer the best system? Do a search on two names for the answers: Chris Hedges and Dr. Gabor Mate.

  18. 26 Drake Weideman
    March 22, 2010 at 14:57

    We’re all a bit premature as the Senate and President both have to pass on it, but I think this bill is a baby step in the right direction…without the “public option” it seems to me to miss the target, but it’s a start.

    Mostly it seems shameful that merely trying to help out the disadvantaged elicits such a huge outcry and protestation.
    Paying billions each year into the Iraq occupation seems OK but helping the poor is not? I am ashamed of this.

    Many Americans are charitable, kind people. Many Americans are greedy, selfish people, and it is these who have been the loudest lately.

    Reducing helping others to a money issue is base and trivial…if we have to raise taxes to do something good, we do it and move on. One point many don’t realize is that we paid much higher tax rates during the 1950’s, arguably one of our most prosperous times. Unfortunately our memories are poor, our knowledge of history minimal and the influence of TV loudmouths overwhelming.

  19. 28 Cabe UK
    March 22, 2010 at 15:00

    @ T …..
    🙂 …. we do it anyway ! It’s forceably removed from our wages every month under the guise of ‘ National Insurance’ … (It’s no different if you go abroad, you need to take out health insurance or sometimes they won’t let you travel…)

    … we’ve had it for nearly 100 years now and you know what ? Compared to other countries its one of the best things we have – we don’t have to pay for our healthcare unless we want to, and then we go ‘private’ – we get subsidised for dentists and opticians (unless of course we WANT to pay more for ‘designer’ or extra extra services etc… and I personally wouldn’t swop it for the world…

    • 29 TomK in Mpls
      March 22, 2010 at 21:18

      You need to realize, the British government is much more responsible, honorable and competent. The recent expenses row was the proverbial tempest in a teapot by US standards. You are very lucky. We have a history on this issue you don’t seem to know about. We had a system to help the poor. It was called Welfare. It was an abysmal failure. Currently we have the failing Social Security Insurance program. It needs more funding or dismantling. Yet Obama has stated he will take money from this mandatory participation plan to make his healthcare plan ‘cost saving’. The issue is not with the ideal as much as the practicality in our reality.

  20. 30 John in Salem
    March 22, 2010 at 15:22

    It is a victory for all Americans who have been, until now, totally at the mercy of the health care industry.
    Health care accounts for 65% of our national debt and over 50% of bankruptcies and foreclosures in this country. The insurance and pharmaceutical industries have had an open field to write their own rules and set up a system that is designed for abuse, a system where doctors prescribe $20k dental implant systems for bedridden 96 year old patients with Alzheimers and where hospitals have to charge $30 for one aspirin in order to meet expenses.
    Millions of parents have worked hard to secure futures for their children and seen it all disappear overnight because of one illness or emegency. All of us already pay thousands every year to cover the cost of the uninsured who use emergency rooms for primary care.
    What we have now is a beginning – something that will need to be amended and refined for sure – but it’s something to build on. I and millions of others wrote our representatives and our President last night to thank them for their courage and hard work and to pledge our future support.
    And now the big question – will Rush Limbaugh make good on his promise and leave the country?

  21. 31 Frank in Nantucket
    March 22, 2010 at 15:43

    Can’t wait for people to find out what’s REALLY in that bill. Excessive earmarks, favors and most important of all REQUIREMENTS and PENALTIES.

  22. 32 Allan-Houston, Texas
    March 22, 2010 at 15:50

    President Obama has done the right thing. It is the United States Congress that has done the wrong thing: stonewalling and raising a hue and cry at the behest of their lobbyist/masters. I will join many of my fellow voters in the next elections and vote against all the incumbents. I doubt it will do any good. But somehow our so-called representatives in Congress must learn that they have stolen our voice, subverted it to the interests of the few and the wealthy.
    I will not even begin to comment upon the racist elements that enter into this entire health care situation. That is a topic that deserves great and deep discussion. Yet it has only been hinted at (if that) in the media and in conversations in general.

  23. 33 Stewart Saunders
    March 22, 2010 at 15:58

    Yes, he has done the right thing. More government is rarely a good thing, and this will be fraught with problems, but America is in big trouble, and needs stabilizing. This will help by : saving families that would be financially destroyed by dramatic healthcare costs, take some pressure off of emergency rooms, offset some of the increased costs to insurance companies through economies of scale.

  24. 34 Robyn Carter, Lexington, KY
    March 22, 2010 at 16:04

    I think its a step in the right direction, but healthcare is a monster problem that through the debates, and lobbyists doesn’t seem to be addressed. I found one guy on the show 60 minutes interesting when he said 2/3rds of Medicare expense could be eliminated if someone would just police the system. I am not sure what the best answer is, but doing nothing would make things worse. Hopefully we can take this bill and build on it to improve healthcare cost for everyone. Only time will tell.

  25. 35 Tony Palfrey
    March 22, 2010 at 16:05

    Yes President Barack Obama has done what he was elected to do and delivered to 32 million Americans a health Insurance that they didn’t have before. The Republican party has shown itself to be the most greedy and selfish party in the United Staes and probably the world. Well done Barack Obama from a big UK fan.

  26. 36 Anna in Arizona
    March 22, 2010 at 16:06

    As much as I wanted a public option, the bill never would have passed that way. So I accept this compromise. People (especially on the right, I’m afraid) seem to forget that living in a democracy is about compromise. Yes, this is your country, but it is my America too. I’m happy today, moderately. I’m happy enough.

  27. 37 Robert
    March 22, 2010 at 16:13

    Of course President Obama has done the right thing. I just cannot understand how the same people who are for spending trillions to send Americans troops around the world to kill are against spending a small portion of this money at home to heal. Damn special interst Mr President, take care of your people first..
    Robert, Brussels

  28. 38 Tom D Ford
    March 22, 2010 at 16:16

    I am cautiously optimistic. The initial iteration of anything usually needs revision after the first try and I expect that to be true of this.

    I like some of the things but I didn’t get what I consider the only logical and reasonable thing, a Universal Single Payer Health Care System, of The people, by The People, and for The People, paid for through Universal Taxes. That would benefit small and large businesses and The People.

  29. 39 Kim Johnson
    March 22, 2010 at 16:16

    It’s a disastrous bill, it’s going to increase health insurance premiums, increase taxes and increase the deficit. It’s going to ration health care, and lower the quality of health care. Too much regulations from the government, I don’t want the government into my health care. People shoud be responsible for their acts and not rely on the government for help and handout. This is a bad socialized medicine, Obama is going to make America into a third world country with his leftist policies.

    • 40 margaret
      March 22, 2010 at 18:24

      Sorry, but we are ALREADY rationing health care right now–either by pricing people out or by having this huge cohort of uninsured and underinsured people. If it’s not the “government” interfering in your health care it is the insurance companies, and of course market forces, which includes your pocketbook and what you can afford to pay for. As a health care provider I get to see this “interference” played out on a daily basis. Perhaps you are independently wealthy and can afford anything you want; perhaps you have a cadillac plan that your employer is paying 20K per year for; perhaps you are a young person and think you will never get sick; perhaps you want to save all your extra money in case you ever have to pay for health care at some point in the future and in the meantime avoid the whole insurance system. Maybe you’ve never seen anyone declare medical bankruptcy or lose their house for denial of claim for something like leukemia treatment or massive trauma; maybe you’ve never seen a friend of yours die because he had no health insurance and finally went to an ER a day before he died. America is on it’s way to third rate status if they don’t get their act together on many levels–health care, education, the war on drugs, green technologies, attitude about the fact that we do live in a global community that gets more intertwined every decade, the list goes on and on.
      Margaret Tacoma, WA

      • 41 TomK in Mpls
        March 22, 2010 at 21:26

        Yes margaret, but now it is rationed by us according to our preferences and abilities. The value of that cannot be understated. It is impossible to give everyone all they want under any system. On this aspect of it, either you believe in free choice, or you believe in the ability of the government to make the choices for you.

  30. March 22, 2010 at 16:19

    It doesn’t makes sense that the USA, the wealthiest nation on earth can’t afford health care for everyone regardless of income and age. The USA looks ridiculous when compared to Cuba where there is a general almost free health care despite its economic problems.

    The bill should be a test of how egalitarian American society should be in a field critical for saving and ensuring healthy lives for everyone.

    If the bill passes into law and become enacted all over the US territories, this means another barrier embodying discrimination has been lowered and access to med-care is a fundamental right that should be defended and preserved.

  31. March 22, 2010 at 16:20

    Has Mr. Obama done the right thing in health care reform? WOW! YES! He has continued the principles of Medicare and Medicaid that bespeak the greater public interest in assuring the health of US citizens. As a law itself, it looks more like the baby steps that discrimination during the civil rights era required… but that’s okay. We still have a long way to go in civil rights in the US, but in 50 years’ time we have made BIG improvements… we will be able to say the same regarding health care for ALL Americans 50 years from now. Bravo, Mr. Obama! Bravo, Mrs. Pelosi. The first battle against the selfish in America has been won… there will be many more to come. Now that the kind-hearted and fair-minded Americans have had a taste of success, our future battles to refine this health care initiative will also be victorious!!!

  32. 44 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 16:24

    They had the pass the bill to find out what’s actually in it.

    Let’s not forget that this “healthcare” bill, ignoring the unconstitutional provision requiring people to buy health insurance, also is going to make the GOVERNMENT the lender for all student loans now. What does that have to do with healthcare?

    • 45 Chintan in Houston
      March 22, 2010 at 18:24

      @ Steve
      I agree this was just an accounting gimmick so that the government can show that this heath care bill will save money.
      But is this student loan reform as bad one? i Don’t think so.

  33. 46 Alex V - Chicago
    March 22, 2010 at 16:24

    This is a major accomplishment for the administration and for this country. However, there is a wide consensus on the left and the right (34 democrats said no to the bill) that more work needs to be done. Yet, this still remains to be a major accomplishment, and I’m proud that it passed.

  34. 47 Archibald in Oregon
    March 22, 2010 at 16:26

    This is certainly a positive step, but a bittersweet victory, with all of the rabid nationalist sentiments against creating unnecessary and unfounded divisions in a society already starving from a lack of cohesion and community.

  35. 48 Jeanann
    March 22, 2010 at 16:28

    Well done America….at last a little bit of support for those not so well off….opposed, of course, by those who can afford health care.

    • 49 TomK in Mpls
      March 22, 2010 at 21:32

      I am an only recently re-employed US citizen. I truly fear what this will do to my economic future. Obviously, this recent economic mess has not taught some people, what debt does to governments, companies and people.

  36. 50 gary indiana
    March 22, 2010 at 16:37

    No victory was experienced by anyone. Healthcare in the US hasn’t been under the control of primary care personnel for many years, and this quasi-reform isn’t progress. I might, were I President, have taken a slightly different approach to healthcare reform, that of negligent homicide indictments for every interstate insurance company executive in every instance of the numerous and well-documented patient deaths resulting from profit maximization. For every objection of “but they have to make profit to exist” I would answer, “yes, but they don’t actually need to exist.” I find it most perplexing that our conservative friends, particularly the religious right, have no moral problems with this practice (Maybe too much concentration upon The Word and not enough consideration of The Meaning.).
    g

  37. 51 EchoRose in Florida
    March 22, 2010 at 16:39

    While our country is divided between the feelings of not wanting to do anything, and thinking this bill doesn’t go far enough, I feel that we have struck the perfect and only balance that is available to us at this time and therefore, it is the right maneuver.

    I applaud President Obama, he ROCKS! I applaud all those Representatives and Senators who supported this effort for the PEOPLE!

    Shame on the naysayers and fearmongers…

  38. 52 viola
    March 22, 2010 at 16:44

    The primary outcome will be that businesses will be relieved of the necessity of providing health care for its employees, thus making them more competitive world wide. Republicans benefit from their opposition by reinforcing their mantra of less government and less taxation. Democrats benefit by reinforcing their mantra of caring more about people. Hopefully, it will also help those it actually claims to help.

  39. 53 nana kwarteng
    March 22, 2010 at 16:44

    I’m guessing giving 30million more people access to healthcare would be the best thing to do anywhere. In the end what it does is improve people’s lives.

  40. 54 Christina
    March 22, 2010 at 16:47

    I don’t know enough about anything to have an opinion. I tried reading the bill itself, but found far too much information, and too many references to things I haven’t even heard of. I’d like to know in plain language, but I can’t seem to find that. And it is nearly impossible to find an unbiased source, so I guess I’ll just see what happens. I’ve literally found people who are arguing exact opposite things and both making sense. I know that is most likely because I don’t know enough about anything involving health care in order to actually figure things out right. I’m glad people agreed that health care needs reform and got together to do something. Maybe that is naiive. In fact, it probably is, but we’ll see. I’m not smart enough to know the exact results from all of this, so I hope things will be better and if not, then I will try to fight for something better. I’m glad everyone feels so much passion on the subject, though. Good luck, everyone. C’est la guerre . . . .

  41. March 22, 2010 at 16:49

    I’m glad it is over. I was getting tired of Republicans telling me that I hated and feared health care. The statistic reported on NPR show that Americans approved of each individual part of the bill, but about half of them were apprehensive about the total program. That’s irrational, and I think it is a response to scare tactics. The Republicans had 8 years with Bush and nothing to show for it, and then they got all concerned about doing it the “right” way when the Democrats got on top.

  42. March 22, 2010 at 16:50

    Love him or loathe him, Obama is a game changer. He is very brave because he is ready to sacrifice his political future for the betterment of his fellow compatriots. But unfortunately, just like humans everywhere, Change is one commodity easily marketed but difficult to buy. God willing, over time, Americans will come to see that this is the morally correct thing to do.

  43. 57 Maria Mann
    March 22, 2010 at 16:57

    Like all great leaders, Obama has great enemies. The Republican machine is to be admired for its concerted efforts to try to scare a public who knows nothing about what their options could be. Socialism is a dirty word. This weekend Obama was called the most heinous of racist names by opponents to the bill — people who have been stoked by the Republicans or a history of hatred, or both.

    The billis not perfect, nor is the man. But Obama is courageous. He is history. Let us remember this time.

    • March 22, 2010 at 17:20

      I agree with you Maria. We are lucky people to live in his time. I think he will be a historic President, and not only because of his race. As a little old white lady, I believe he will be placed in the same category as Abraham Lincoln and the Roosevelts (Franklin & Theodore) by historians one day.

  44. 59 Alan in AZ
    March 22, 2010 at 17:00

    Growing up as a Military dependent and then entering into the Military here in the USA I never really worried about Health Care. After spending the last 20+ years in corporate entities, I long for the days of not worrying about “This Deduction” or “That Requirement” or some such blather in fine print.

    I’d much rather pay slightly higher taxes and remove one of the larger worries in my daily life. Now the question for me is, ” Can the Government continue doing it as well as the military or will we be stuck with a system that doesn’t work?”

  45. 60 rob z.
    March 22, 2010 at 17:04

    The passing of this bill is a small step in the right direction. Living in the richest and most powerful country in the world;or so they say,you would think free health care and education for it’s citizens would be a given. And that health care and education would be the (Gold Standard) for the rest of the world to follow.
    The reality is this;health care costs are out of control here,so acess to the best is limited to who can pay the most-not who needs it the most.
    The same can be said about education,publis schools are not given what they need to do the job and our college system is mostly private and the cost is out of control. Many students do not see where the cost of a doctors degree is worth paying a bill for the rest of life.
    So hooray! for the baby step for health care;but don’t stop,there is alot more to be done.
    Robz in florida.

  46. March 22, 2010 at 17:05

    I cannot understand why republicans are so opposed to the healthcare bill.They all sound rather selfish to me.Do they think that the poor are not worthy of healthcare,if they cannot pay.The NHS had its opposition too,but now,if you want re-elected,NHS has to be one of your priorities.Perhaps in this case republicans will become staunch supporters of healthcare for all,once it gets off the ground and they realize it is a vote catcher.

  47. 62 Guido, Vienna
    March 22, 2010 at 17:05

    I am not sure whether the reform will work. It is a first, but tiny, step in the right direction. Health insurance is still provided by private, profit orientated enterprises. There is still the temptation to get rid of expensive customers, even if it became more difficult.

    Also the so called “public option” would have a huge disadvantage. The profitable customers would stay with private insurance, and the unwanted, expensive customers would “choose” the public insurance.

    In my opinion only a state controlled system can guaranty healthcare for everybody, and use its position to reduce costs. If you think this idea is communist, the US has lost the cold war in Europe.

  48. 63 Phyllis
    March 22, 2010 at 17:12

    President Obama has done the right thing by being brave enough to do ‘SOMETHING’.
    In the sixties I experienced the war for a CIvil Rights Bill. This reminded me of those days. One would not expect so much ‘SCREECHING AND HOLLERING’ in 2010. We, the public have not yet had a factual read of the Bill. When we do, I am confident that , in time, we would correct whatever may be wrong with it.
    I purchase my own insurance and have been subject to the vagaries from one State to another; and from one insurance company to another. Maybe, with this Bill, I could stop pursuing my Phd in health insurance.

  49. March 22, 2010 at 17:15

    HOORAY!!! The college loan overhaul passed AND the health bill!!! Yes he has done the right thing, and for so many people. If I could get at him, I’d kiss him!

    OMG!!! I am sooo happy for all the students lucky enough to be in college at this time, taking out loans. For one thing, it limits the amount of your future monthly repayments to a set percentage (smaller) of WHAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY ARE EARNING when you go back to work, NOT what a loan company might think a person who graduated in that field might be earning. And no more selling your loans to loan companies. All loans will come through the government. Take that, Wachovia! They hounded me to death, screwed up my payments and then sold my loan to some place in Texas and I suddenly owed a thousand dollars more. My loan switched hands 5 times over the repayment years! Every time it switched hands, I owed more! I think they sold it to the new companies for more than I actually owed. What a way for these companies to make money! Now, IN YOUR FACE, BOYS

  50. 65 margaret
    March 22, 2010 at 17:16

    As far as I am concerned as a health care provider, this bill does not go nearly far enough. I was in favor of a Medicare-like program for all as a baseline including being able to “buy into” Medicare if you are below 65 years of age. I’m for health care and not health insurance. In fact, I don’t think the insurance model works as it depends on your paying premiums and never having to file a claim–with health care it is a given that you will have to use it. It has some much needed provisions such as the ones regarding preexisting conditions, recisions, lifetime caps, expanding Medicaid. For a 2000 page bill, there has been relatively little in depth discussion except for a few talking points such as the “no funding for abortion” which I think is completely moot and a sharp focus on the party of no and protesters, many of whom look like they are on Medicare and include my own mother. There are still plenty of gaps, among them many of the provisions in the bill don’t take effect right away. There is still MUCH to do. This is a START. Failure of “some kind of health care bill” to pass would have doomed not only the Obama administration but would have confirmed that the Democrats can’t govern. We just had10 years showing us the Republicans can’t govern.
    Margaret Tacoma, WA

  51. 66 James in Portland OR
    March 22, 2010 at 17:16

    Pastor Mike Skidmore doesn’t realize it, but he actually does believe in a public heath care. The least efficient kind.
    What does he think happens when you file for bankruptcy? The bills just disappear?
    No, the community absorbs the loss, pays his bills, and hospitals pass on the loss to the rest of us by raising their fees.
    Thanks Pastor Mike!
    And thanks to everyone else that thinks filing bankruptcy isn’t socialism!!! (ha ha)

  52. 67 Bert
    March 22, 2010 at 17:21

    Everyone can agree that “something needed to be done,” but I do not believe that this bill will do what’s needed.

    As far as I can tell, mostly this bill just “sticks it to the health insurance companies.” It does not attack one of the main reason for high medical costs, which is the defensive medecine that has to be practiced to reduce the risk of malpractice suits. In other words, the insurance companies are hardly the main offenders here, and yet the bill only adjusts that one aspect of the problem.

    I suppose it’s a start, and a start was needed. I think you’d have to be very naive to believe health care costs will go down with this bill, though. Someone will have to pay for all of the added costs the insurance companies are going to have to cover. Only True Believers can buy the idea that all the wonderful health care now available will make everyone so healthy that costs will go down. It just doesn’t sound reasonable to me.

    Listening to the debate yesterday was nothing short of painful, though. Imagine being one of those Congressmen that actually had to sit through all the rhoetroic, hyperbole, and verbosity. It’s a true womnder anything gets done.

  53. 68 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 17:26

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62L32E20100322

    The backlash has already begun. It won’t take long for this law to be struck down.

  54. 69 Marvin in SoCal
    March 22, 2010 at 17:38

    every proponent post I see here does not address any of the fundamental concerns those of us who do not like this bill or what Congress and the Administration is doing in regards to health care access. Does making something a REQUIREMENT or adding additional tax (4% capital gains or 2% tax fines?!?!?!) fixes the fundamental issue of a broken system?

    Here’s wake up call to many – not all conservatives drives luxury cars and owns multi-million dollar houses. Many of us live on meager wages and a lot are just getting by (specially now in this economy) – So can you please continue to allow us to live like Americans and not control every aspect of our lives.

  55. 70 Julia in Portland
    March 22, 2010 at 18:00

    Why is it so difficult to pass something that benefits the people? Follow the money. The big money is coming from the industry that this is going to reform – the insurance corporations. They put a lot of money into politicians’ pockets to keep things status quo so they could continue to reap billions in profits at the expense of the well being and health of individual citizens.

    Status quo was not working – this is absolutely a move in the right direction – perfect? Absolutely not, but it at least breaks down that big obnoxious wall that was preventing change – from here we can move forward and make even more productive changes.

  56. March 22, 2010 at 18:01

    This is a fantastic victory for President Obama. He had the vision and the guts. Other American Presidents tried to provide healthcare coverage for all Americans but did not succeed. He was prepared to stake his presidency on a goal he cherished so much. His success is a major landmark in paving the way for affordable health-care for all Americans. The Republicans are pouting. They should search their conscience! They would be well-advised to congratulate the President on a historic achievement and give him credit when it is due!

  57. 72 Julia in Portland
    March 22, 2010 at 18:02

    The BBC did a very interesting article on why people vote against their own best interests. I recommend people read it – it helps explain why people might be so against these kinds of change. You can find it by Googleing ‘why people vote against their own interests bbc’

  58. 73 stephen nnn Portland/Or
    March 22, 2010 at 18:07

    If I new what was in this bill I am sure I would support it!

    So far according to the right wing media it’s going to be an abortion factory doing a double shift.

    The Dems need better spin Doctors to promote their policies.

  59. 74 Tom D Ford
    March 22, 2010 at 18:09

    @ steve
    March 22, 2010 at 17:26

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62L32E20100322

    “The backlash has already begun. It won’t take long for this law to be struck down.”

    With any luck the requirement to pay money in profits to insurance Companies will be struck down in the courts and then a requirement to pay Federal taxes will be implemented. That would take the Insurance corporations out of the system and put health care in the hands of The American People, where it belongs.

    • 75 TomK in Mpls
      March 23, 2010 at 16:34

      Tom, these same companies will be managing it. They will set prices according to what the politicians, bought by lobby groups, want it to be. How will this save money?

  60. 76 Paul Vanderford
    March 22, 2010 at 18:11

    OBAMA I LOVE YOU!!!!! The money we pay now will be money we save later. I was having dinner with four friends yesterday. When they arrived for dinner two of us had health care. When they left four of us five had health care under the new systems proposed. I would say the is progress.

    How can we be one of the wealthiest countries in the world and allow our people to go without basic care services!

    This has enforced me resolve for supporting Obama. This is the best thing that could have happened.

  61. 77 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 18:14

    The question about voting against your interests: Yes, if the government confiscated all property from the richest 1% and redistributed it, I would probably be better off, for a while at least. Yet, even for that short while I’m better off, I still would not be in favor of it.

  62. 78 anne in vancouver wa
    March 22, 2010 at 18:14

    the personal responsibility argument is bogus. it is cheap to eat badly therefore poor people eat badly. meat is subsidized and vegetables are taxed. why? corporate profit of course.

  63. 79 John From San Francisco
    March 22, 2010 at 18:15

    This is a very small step, but a very necessary one towards a more decent society. However there are a number of problems. I was a single payer advocate, and to my point of view, the democrats have compromised away a whole lot. Check ou tthe work by T R Reid. His work comparing health care systems aroiund the world was extremely important. Basically most countries keep expenses in line by controlling the profit of some sector of Health care, either by regulating insurance or health care providers, or making one of those sectors non-profit or government run. In our current system with every sector trying to maximize their return, it inevitably leads to us paying more.

  64. 80 Phyllis
    March 22, 2010 at 18:17

    WHY ARE EMPLOYERS THE MIDDLEMEN ??????
    Most of the country is not required to have personal responsibility for their healthcare.
    Currently,Business owners bear all of it.
    Things would have changed long ago if business owners were not saddled with this burden.

  65. 81 Tyler Stuart
    March 22, 2010 at 18:17

    President Obama is definitely in touch with the American people who are in need of health care and most importantly relaying the importance of “we the people” looking out for each other as citizens. We are a very individualized country and it is important for us to think on a broader scale of the health of everyone rather than the middle to upper-class alone. This bill does not negate the ability to have private health care if desired, but it gives the public who cannot afford proper care the ability to stay healthy. A wonderful example is Norway. America has a fear of anything other than our distorted view of democracy. People have feared Socialized systems and have a history of mistrusting our government. But if anything, this is a sign of officials and citizens awakening to the importance of looking out for each other.

  66. 82 mers in oregon
    March 22, 2010 at 18:18

    I have yet to hear one person who is currently without health insurance speak up against health care reform. I might now be hopeful that I will be able to get health insurance when my Cobra runs out. I simply have no idea why Americans are so paranoid about change.

  67. 83 Tom D Ford
    March 22, 2010 at 18:19

    Conservative Republicans have told so many lies to create distrust in our US government in this fight and now they are using the distrust that they manufactured as a reason to repeal this try at reform.

    Conservative Republicans are the problem, not our American US government.

    Obama fought for American citizens and Conservative Republicans fought for giant corporations and lost this one time.

    • 84 TomK in Mpls
      March 23, 2010 at 16:37

      Very true, the Liberal Democrats are an equal threat. As in most debates, the extremes are passionate to achieve impracticable goals. What is needed lies somewhere between them. This is true on every topic.

  68. 85 tom shepherd
    March 22, 2010 at 18:19

    redistribute the wealth…. you help people by encouraging them to better themselves////not by more freebies… I’m thinking about quitting my job and going on welfare …. WHY WORK WHEN YOU DO”NT NEED TO????? THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!! all incumbants…

  69. 86 David B.
    March 22, 2010 at 18:21

    Everyone’s talking about it being Obama’s doing. From what I’ve read, that’s not completely accurate. It’s Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that really deserves the credit. When the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate, Obama’s advisors were telling him to back off. Pelosi is the one that held firm and advocated continuing to do whatever it took to push the legislation through Congress.

  70. 87 Elizabeth
    March 22, 2010 at 18:22

    2 things the media conveniently leaves out on the healthcare issue:

    1. While Obama champions “competition and choice” for healthcare, he willfully included a separate, 100% government takeover bill for student loans (SAFRA) in the healthcare legislation that eliminates ALL choice and competition for American consumers.

    2. The projected savings with the education bill, designed to benefit students, have now been taken away from the bill, once it was included with last night’s legislation, to pay for HEALTHCARE, not education!

    And people think we should applaud Obama for sticking it to students so that he can further his own political agenda with government healthcare? And it only costs us taxpayers $900 billion?

    No,thank you.

  71. March 22, 2010 at 18:22

    The bill is simply an insurance regulation bill. It’s a misnomer to call it “health care reform”. It doesn’t represent any real change in health care and provides no new options to that segment of the population that does not have access to corporate sponsored health insurance through their employer.

  72. 89 Tyler
    March 22, 2010 at 18:23

    I don’t know who is making the polls that the American people don’t want a health care reform but they are certainly not taking accurate statistics from the entire United States. Obama cannot force this idea on the American people and it would not be so well received on so many levels across the united states if it was not wanted.
    People…not Money…is what is important. within America and within the world!

  73. 90 Echo Rose's Mother in Cincinnati
    March 22, 2010 at 18:23

    While it’s easy for those who already have health care to agree with the new bill, those of us who do not and cannot afford it, are not looking forward to the fines for not having it. What happens to those of us who fall on that thin line of poverty and lower income when we can’t pay the fine at the end of the year for not having health insurance. Will we go to jail? I only see this as another way to make the poor, poorer.

  74. 91 Alan
    March 22, 2010 at 18:24

    I feel that the US has taken a major step backwards in being the example that the world has aspired to. It’s nice that people believe that health care is a right, but it’s just not true. Health care is an individual responsibility. As is getting a job, having children and providing for your family. No one owes you anything. This is a dark day in our history. What ever happened to: “Ask not… what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?” -JFK

    • March 22, 2010 at 18:38

      I have always had a job, I work hard, real hard. I’ve been a chef in fine dining restaurants for over twelve years. You know how often I’ve been offered health insurance? Never. You know what my average wage has been? About $11/hour. You know how much health insurance that buys? Precious little. Maybe next time you go out to eat, you spare a thought for the trogs in the back of the house who sweat for peanuts so that you can afford to have a decent meal prepared for you.

      • 93 rob z.
        March 22, 2010 at 21:08

        I agree,think about those you buy services from who make your life CONVENIENT;Be they restaurant staff or the sales clerk at your favorate store.

    • 94 debra in oregon
      March 22, 2010 at 18:40

      It is a subsidized right in most other countries, including Canada, Europe, and many Latin American countries. Incomes are taxed to pay for it, similar to what we in the U.S. pay for Social Security taxes. In many countries, there is a private/public payment system, which is what I believe the U.S. will eventually adopt.

  75. 95 maria
    March 22, 2010 at 18:24

    This was not a rushed process. Health care reform has been debated for decades. It’s time the U.S. did the right thing and joined the rest of the world in providing universal health care.

    Those who are against it are part of the “haves” vs the “have not’s”. There are thousands of working poor working full time and still living in poverty who cannot afford health insurance.

    On welfare, if you work at all, you do not qualify. Welfare should be reserved for those who cannot work.

    Hooray for President Obama for doing the right thing. He tried bipartisanship and it did not work. The Republicans will never agree to this.

  76. 96 John From San Francisco
    March 22, 2010 at 18:25

    I also think that people who have insurance would be likely to not have insurance in the future if there was no reform. Companies I do not think will keep insuring people at growing costs. So everyone who was so self satisfied with there health care might not be in few years.

  77. 97 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    March 22, 2010 at 18:26

    But where’s the other side of this story? Why do you have no guests on the show to explain why those of us against the bill (which is no small majority) are against it? Here’s one reason why I’m against it. The taxing of so-called “Cadillac” health care plans.

    I have a health care plan through my job which would probably be considered such a plan, for which I already contribute approximately 15% of my paycheck towards. Now that my insurance company would be taxed for providing me such benefits I would have to pay even higher out-of-pocket rates to maintain what I already have. In essence those of us who have worked hard for quality health insurance will be punished to provide health care for others.

    • 98 patti in cape coral
      March 22, 2010 at 19:01

      Where did people get this crazy idea that if you don’t have something it absolutely means that you didn’t work for it, are lazy, etc? I think it’s just something people say so they don’t have to care about people who work their fingers to the bone and get nothing.

  78. 99 Dan in Boston
    March 22, 2010 at 18:28

    The passage of this bill is a huge victory for President Obama and the Democratic Party. However, it will be a Pyrrhic victory. Almost 60% of Americans oppose this bill and the way it was passed. They will remember during the November elections and the Republican Party will re-take control of Congress. President Obama will be a one-term president and consigned to history along with the likes of Jimmy Carter.

    Americans do not want European-style socialism and will not stand for having it forced upon us. We have notoriously short memories and are easily distracted, but as Admiral Yamamoto said after the Dec.7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, “We have awakened a sleeping giant.” Today is not the end of the fight, but the beginning.

  79. 100 Keith H
    March 22, 2010 at 18:29

    It’s a pretty clear contradiction to expect any corporation to be responsible to both its stock holders and its patients.

  80. 101 Diego
    March 22, 2010 at 18:30

    I just heard a man say that a large majority of democrats opposed the bill
    34/246 = less than 14%…not sure where he got his numbers.

    I just heard Jeff talk about how the Civil Rights Act putting back the Democratic party many years. Well, who would disagree that this was a bad thing for our country? Those people who disagree are seen as on the fringe now.

    Diego from Berkeley, Ca

  81. 102 jane
    March 22, 2010 at 18:31

    Medicaid or OHP in Oregon exempts anyone who makes over $900 a month. I make $1000 per month due to lack of jobs/underemployment. My job will not provide healthcare and will not give me more than 34 hours a week. What do people like me do?

  82. 103 Mark
    March 22, 2010 at 18:31

    The passage of this bill is a wonderful first step in addressing our needs. The problem with moving this forward in public discourse is the comingling of the medical risk management problem and the health care provisioning. The problem is in the financial efficiency, or actual inefficiency, of our medical risk management solutions. I think that how we provide healthcare in a market system works fine. But by all measures of a successful medical system (percentage coverage, infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.) the US has a great deal of progress to make, in order to realize our position as an international leader in technology and economics.

  83. March 22, 2010 at 18:31

    First of all, to say that the American public doesn’t support health care reform is either disingenuous or suggests that the American public are stupid. They voted, by overwhelming majority, for a president who promised to reform the nations health care system. He made good on that promise.
    Secondly, lots of hard working taxpayers cannot get health insurance because their employers do not offer it and it is prohibitively expensive to buy individually. I’ve worked as a chef in fine dining restaurants for years and have never been offered health insurance. I’ve always had to pay for my own medical care out of pocket. It’s real easy for people who are well-paid and comfortable to criticize so called “welfare” programs and say that we all need to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” but the reality is that we can’t all just do for ourselves when we have no means and when we have giant wealthy corporations put the boot to our necks.

  84. 105 Kelly B
    March 22, 2010 at 18:32

    The real issue, and I think Harlow nailed it, is this: In America today, the Have’s have a considerable say with regards to public policy, because lets face it, if you are poor, you are too busy working to care about most public policy, and if you have money, people will listen to you regardless if you sound like a prejudiced idiot savant. And the Have’s DO NOT want to help the Harlow’s who have a sad story about losing their job, and have no medical coverage. If it wasn’t for the “liberal” politicians in this country, we would have soup kitchens and tent cities rampant during economic down turns like the one we are experiencing. Our country is founded on liberty, which is a liberalness of ideas (too bad the Palin’s, and Rush Limbaugh’s of the world don’t understand political philosophy), all conservatives are interested in are making money. Plain and simple.

    Kelly From Oregon, USA

  85. 106 jane
    March 22, 2010 at 18:33

    Purchasing private healthcare for a healthy thirty-something would be approx. $ 450 a month-nearly half of my monthly income.

  86. 107 debra in oregon
    March 22, 2010 at 18:33

    I just heard a guest on your show today say, “The vast majority of Americans are happy with their insurance.”

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have an alternative mindset about health and healing, the allopathic American medical system and its attendant insurance and pharmaceutical companies simply will not listen, let alone pay for. From my point of view, and I am 55, most of the advice I’ve ever received from my doctors while covered under health insurance was WRONG, WRONG, and more WRONG! They are very good at performing surgery, but are completely inadequate at preventive medicine and disease HEALING! And in fact, most of the surgeries and treatments performed are completely unnecessary and more damaging to the body had they not done them in the first place!

    For this reason, while paying for health insurance, I charted my own medical path that fell outside of the insurance coverage — the care that ultimately healed me — and finally decided to drop my coverage, not because I couldn’t afford it, but because it was a complete waste of my money. I simply could not justify the amount I was spending on so-called alternative treatments, while at the same time paying for monthly health insurance premiums that I chose not to use because the insurance company would not cover the medical treatments I wished to have.

  87. 108 Tim Kern
    March 22, 2010 at 18:33

    As an uninsured but healthy American, I would have a lot more faith in this insurance takeover (it isn’t about granting health care; it’s about controlling who gets what, and at what cost — if it were about health care, no one would need health insurance) if it were indeed “universal.”

    I would have a tad more trust in the perpetrators of this expensive fraud if they really included everyone, including themselves. Everyone, from the President, to the Congress, to the veterans, to the federal workers — everyone except active-duty, combat-zone military — should get exactly the same benefits.

    …like that would happen in this world!

    ———————————————–
    As one of my economics students once said [since the premise is that health care is so expensive that “nobody can afford it”], “If nobody can afford it, how can everybody afford it?”

  88. March 22, 2010 at 18:33

    It is important to change the health care in the US, As a Self employed doctor I have been denied health isurance because I have a pace maker. , I have patients that have been denied health care for having a C-section, and yeas infections. And the health isurence is so expensive when you are self employed I cannot afford it.

  89. 110 Sarah hibble
    March 22, 2010 at 18:33

    Having lived in Australia and the USA and having been pregnant and given birth in each, I can say unequivocally that the Usa has a long way to go!

  90. 111 Marion Young
    March 22, 2010 at 18:35

    President Obama did what is right for the American people. Health care is a human right and should not be controlled by Big Business. The only people who are scared by health care reform are those who feel they will have to pay for it. But they are already paying for the health care of those less fortunate when we pay $15.00 for aspirint at the hospital, our tax dollars pay for Medicare. The difference is now people will be able to go to the doctor and prevent more serious health problems that will cost out country even more! Shame on those who critize out preident for doing the right thing!

  91. March 22, 2010 at 18:35

    I’m pretty sure non one has truly read all of the documents except the congressman and woman (if they read it). We take what we hear and run with it. Give it a try, if it doesn’t work, then the Republican President that (hopefully is not elected) in the next election should change it.

  92. 113 Dorn
    March 22, 2010 at 18:36

    If a company or industry holds a monopoly over something that people need, then it should come at a price. Those entities have a responsibility to provide fair and reasonable access to that service. When that responsibility conflicts with the goal of maximizing corporate profits you need government regulations to make sure they fulfill that obligation.

  93. 114 Tom D Ford
    March 22, 2010 at 18:37

    These Conservative Republicans remind me of their Bush/Cheney propaganda campaign about WMDs in Iraq, just a bunch of outrageous Lies, Distortions, and Deletions. There were no WMDS in Iraq and their current propaganda is not true either.

    Let’s vote the lying Conservative Republicans out of office and let Moderate Republicans take back their formerly honorable Party.

  94. 115 Chris
    March 22, 2010 at 18:37

    Great news. Despite Republican party Congress members acting like they are in the pocket of the insurance industry and pharmaceutical lobby trying to scare people and sabotage the bill, it looks like America has finally taken a small step into the 20th century. Of course there still are several more steps to go before the US has 21st century health care system – but this seems a good start given the powerful opposition.

    Hopefully all Americans will now be able to get the health care they need whatever their circumstance and American business will become more competitive once it is no saddled with paying exorbitant health insurance premiums for their employees.

  95. 116 marika
    March 22, 2010 at 18:37

    I am thrilled that this bill has passed. I have a preexisting condition. I was recently laid off. I have been and will continue to be a hardworking, tax paying citizen. I am happy to know that my tax money can go to a cause I believe in (helping my countrymen) rather than just to a cause I don’t (war). If we can blow millions of dollars to protect our country than we should find a way to help save our lives too.

  96. 117 Dennis Junior
    March 22, 2010 at 18:38

    Helen:

    Yes, it is the right thing that President Obama regading the Health Care Reforms in the United States…

  97. 118 Cabe UK
    March 22, 2010 at 18:38

    Oh God! – You people that are against this ‘Bill’ are SOooo negative !

    You sound like a bunch of harpies carping on about all the things this Bill is going to make worse for you… Even people who apparently don’t have it are now complaining about being fined for it?

    I don’t get it – what sort of things motivate you?

    If you hate it so much don’t go on it then…. Get Obama to do an ‘opt-out’ clause and just continue as you were living in the backwaters of society and just continue being unable to get any help like before …
    😦

  98. 119 sally ford
    March 22, 2010 at 18:40

    Oh my, it’s taken 100 years to pass health care reform and people complain that we rushed into this. It’s unbelievable that our rich country has taken so long to do this. Some say we will be a third world country, when the reality is third world countries have better health outcomes than we do! So maybe WE’LL be closer to third world countries now.

  99. 120 Chuck
    March 22, 2010 at 18:40

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that people should have access to medical care if they are injured or sick, but how far is too far? This ignores personal responsibility and the root causes of the illnesses everyone is so concerned about treating. Sure, the government will take more money from the healthy, responsible people to take care of the unhealthy people that make terrible choices in what they put into their body…but what are they going to do about the subsidies for corn and soy (especially the genetically modified variety) that cause so many health problems? A real political win would be to see our government turn down money from big agribusiness and do something to clean up our food supply.

  100. 121 Jordan D
    March 22, 2010 at 18:41

    The difference is requiring auto insurance and health insurance is that you aren’t forced to drive.

  101. 122 Mr. Kawakubo {PORTLAND}
    March 22, 2010 at 18:41

    The difference between auto and health insurance should be obvious! You don’t need to drive a car, but you do need to be alive, to exist. The only other option is death, not a good alternative! So being forced to purchased health insurance, just because you breathe, is very different, in every way, from auto insurance. Especially when there is no public option, forcing people to purchase health insurance from private corporations, simply because they choose life over suicide, is outrageous. While I support the health-care reform, and wish it was actually socialized, I have to suspect forcing people to support insurance companies will be challenged in the courts.

  102. 123 kim
    March 22, 2010 at 18:42

    yes.
    i am the mother of a type 1 diabetic son. i have followed this process carefully.
    change is always difficult and will have its detractors. but, unlike what many think, there are many american progressives who support this. we do not go toe to toe w tea partiers and vindictive GOP followers, not because we don’t agree, but because we will not stoop to that level of rhetoric or insult in order to make our points. we spoke resoundingly w/our vote last year, and will do so again when the next elections come around.
    and like auto insurance, so with med insurance. playing w fate and assuming others will take care of it is unfair to the general, working-man population. until we can do away w/ profit-driven insurance and pharma machines, we need to mandate basic, major med coverage for all. ideally, it should simply be provided for all americans (ie a streamlined medicare for everyone), but our capitalistic entrenchment won’t allow for that.

  103. 124 Stephen Kendall
    March 22, 2010 at 18:42

    This change is long over due. Fifteen years ago I was seriously injured at home and even though I was insured I lost everything. Most of us are just one sickness or injury away from bankruptcy. I’ve worked hard and sucessfully all of my life and am still insured. Every time I have a claim I have to fight with the insurance company for my contractualy due benefits. The politics of fear, misinformation, hate and discontent have clouded the issue. USA is the only first world country where the health insurance industry can spend 900 million in this past ten months to defeat this bill. They must have a lot at stake.

  104. 125 Bob Jones
    March 22, 2010 at 18:44

    My wife has hereditary heart disease. Is she supposed to take personal responsibility for not having another heart attack? Is she just supposed to die on the vine for the cause of personal liberty? Good grief!

    Note: tort reform won’t solve the problem of her getting health care coverage.

  105. 126 Wes, East Tennessee
    March 22, 2010 at 18:45

    One thing I’ve gotten tired of hearing in this drawn out debate is the fact that American’s don’t want health care reform. President Obama made health care reform a central part of his platform, and was elected to do just that.

    Also, how is a year-long debate with multiple votes in both the House and Senate ramming a bill down the throat of the American people? I think the failure of the American political press to cover the actually policies instead of the process has contributed to the misinformation surrounding the legislation, and has given factions like the “Tea Party” a disproportionate amount of attention because they are the loudest and make the wildest accusations.

    Having lived my entire life in the poorest part of the U.S. (Southern Appalachia), I’ve seen first hand just how badly better access to health care is needed. There are so many people around here that are too poor to purchase private health insurance, but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, so something needs to be done to help them.

    Improving access for the underprivileged doesn’t even begin to touch those that can’t get coverage because of pre-existing conditions, they reached their lifetime coverage limit or other factors. While I don’t think this bill is perfect, it’s a good start and will allow for additional improvement and changes to come in the future.

  106. 127 Trent
    March 22, 2010 at 18:45

    If 2/3 of Americans are against universal health care, what is the relevance of this study?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/19/opinion/polls/main5098517.shtml

  107. 128 Polly
    March 22, 2010 at 18:45

    As a physician who cannot obtain health insurane due to pre existing conditions and an emergency doctor, I thoroughly applaud this bill. I do thin k that there is mich more to be done,
    Society need to make some very difficult decisions that we are dodging however. Huge spending at the end of life, defensive medicine spendi ng, deciding just how much BASIC medical care should be covered,considering WHY people should make money from others insurance premiums or denied cae…I could go on and on …

  108. 129 Jayson
    March 22, 2010 at 18:45

    I’ve heard a lot of comments that this legislation is against the will of the the majority of the American people. But government doesn’t represent the majority. It represents everyone. There is a suffering minority. Will the majority just stand by and watch?

  109. 130 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    March 22, 2010 at 18:47

    I agree with the Pastor! The way this “reform” has gone down is completely socialist and against what the United States stands for and was originally founded on. If you’re so fond of Europe’s health care system you are completely free to move there and take part in it, but I don’t appreciate having it forced on me as a US citizen.

  110. 131 Mike in NC
    March 22, 2010 at 18:48

    Funny that none of people critical of reform are the ones who NEED health care. I’ve been fortunate to have had good insurance for nearly all of my life, I wish the same for everyone else even if means that mine may be more expensive.

  111. 132 Tim Kern
    March 22, 2010 at 18:50

    It’s funny, too, that all the panelists and contributors (non-US “experts” on all things socialist may be excused; the Americans are no better!) have never questioned the Constitutional authority for the President to legislate (as he did with his promised Executive Orders), and for the Congress to simply assume that this bill is about the regulation of interstate commerce, or meets the criteria about which the “general welfare” clause was written. The Constitution is merely assumed to approve, or more likely to be irrelevant.

    I do not have health insurance (or any pre-existing conditions that would preclude my buying it); still, I do not think it is my right to have everyone else be forced to pay for it.

    …and please, let’s call this what it is: federal regulation of the insurance industry. It is not “providing health care.” If we were to receive health care through this bill, no insurance would be necessary. (All those people involved in every facet of insurance, from sales through monitoring, througn enforcement, could go do something productive, to help pay for helath care, instead of thinking up ways to fine companies and force people to pay for others’ insurance.)

  112. 133 margaret
    March 22, 2010 at 18:51

    I can’t believe that someone is calling in who filed bankruptcy and lost their home due to health care costs and is still wanting complete freedom from everything including insurance. BTW I’m sure that my insurance rates go up when you don’t pay your share–and it costs someone else when you file for bankruptcy and discharge most of your debt even if you pay some of it. I wonder that he can tolerate living in this country. The public good has to take some precedence just to keep this country going as a country–my “freedom” has to be impinged on if I want live with other people in some kind of organized society. This includes obeying laws that I don’t agree with; this includes not being able to say what I want whenever I want; this includes my hard earned tax dollars paying for things like wars I don’t believe in, etc etc. One thing this new health care bill is NOT is a government takeover==that might have been the single payor plan which got rejected very very early in this process of getting this legislation, such as it is, through.

    Margaret Tacoma, WA

    • 134 TomK in Mpls
      March 23, 2010 at 16:41

      The point you are missing, is that some of us believe that just because something might be convenient at the moment, does not make it right. We need systems that work to make things consistently better for everyone, not just to serve our short term needs.

  113. March 22, 2010 at 18:51

    I do not understand why some people in US are so afraid of health care for everyone and they think that if I was born with a congenical problem is my fault and I need to pay for i even is I have a hely life style.

  114. 136 Nancy
    March 22, 2010 at 18:54

    The caller from New Mexico is wrong in the way he frames the problem of obesity in the United States. Big Brother is already influencing our food policy by hugely subsidizing certain industrial crops (notably corn and all of its by-products especially high fructose corn syrup), making fast-food, high fat and high sugar food, a cheap option and usually cheaper than whole foods. This government interference in the form of subsidies to huge corporations is related to the obesity crisis in the United States. No need to have the government telling people what to eat simply pull the subsidies and allow healthy foods to compete and fast food prices to reflect their true cost (the obesity crisis in the U.S. is a public health crisis and is very costly though I don’t have that statistic on hand).

  115. 137 Paul Murphy
    March 22, 2010 at 18:55

    I think it is ridiculous that Republican and Libertarian Americans are still shouting about freedom of the individual (and hence corporations now after the recent supreme court ruling) as a reason for no health care reform, especially after Wall street nearly collapsed the entire world economy because of deregulation. America needs regulation because it is driven by greed and profiteering.

  116. 138 arbib
    March 22, 2010 at 18:55

    Even though there are many opponents, the few things that passed… Pre-existing conditions now included in coverage, you can’t be dropped for extended or overly long and expensive med/hospital treatments, Coverage can’t be denied, ARE A BIG DEAL for Middle to low family’s who can’t afford to pay, what boils down to a premium of $800 – $2000 for insurance. BTW, Why should health care cost as much or more than my rent/mortgage???? It Is just too high!, Unless I go live in the run down and ignored areas of town.
    BTW: What was the negative feedback in the 60.s when Medicare was passed… I’ll bet it had the same opposition in general (how to pay for it) As this bill. Ohh there is a payroll tax to pay for it…. Any complaints you old dogs have on this one.. I’m 56, don’t mind a few dollars a month to pay for it. U can;t take it with you….. If you oppose Government run health care…. DON’T DARE SIGN UP FOR MEDICARE when you are 62… Or you are a hypocrite!

    • 139 Elizabeth in Indianapolis
      March 22, 2010 at 19:12

      Hey, if everyone is so willing to pay for national (read – government) healthcare (or did I read a different public poll than you did?), then why don’t I just quit my job today and sign up for Medicaid right now? That will be paid for by the feds and I can then enjoy the rest of my young life, not work, get welfare and Medicaid until it’s time for me to fill out my Medicare paperwork. Hmmmm…wonder if it will still be there with all these fabulous new incentives for people to take some responsibility for themselves.

  117. 140 Tom D Ford
    March 22, 2010 at 18:55

    Let’s remember that the American Conservative Colonists that were against the 1776 US Revolution also made these kinds of “Chicken Little-The sky is falling” arguments. But we established the US in spite of Conservatism. We threw out the British government Corporation and established the beginnings of a government of The people, by The people, and for The people.

  118. March 22, 2010 at 18:55

    I don’t have health care coverage through my employer and I vote, and pay taxes. The majority of the population of the county where I live does not have health care coverage through their employer. All of my friends vote, none have employer provided health insurance.

  119. March 22, 2010 at 18:56

    They said it was a step towards socialism when they passed the civil rights bills. The right to vote. The right to go to school. the right to eat at a lunch counter. The same right wing rhetoric was siad at that time, too. Same lie different day.

  120. 143 Elias
    March 22, 2010 at 18:57

    Any advanced and civilised nation having basic healthcare is definetely a must for its people. The very high costs of receiving medical treatment has made several bankrupt from paying the bills, many forego medical treatment simply because they cant pay for it. How can a major power allow its low income people suffer the consequence of not being able to receive medical assistance when its most needed?.The price of medicine is exhorbitant in the USA, it is said to be the highest in the world it is also a major problem. Insurance costs for doctors against malpractice suits, whereby lawyers milk huge amounts is also worth looking into and modifying.

  121. March 22, 2010 at 19:00

    The argument against “government health care” and “socialism” is nonsense. We pay almost double the per capita cost for medical care here and our health outcomes are ranked 37th in the world by the WHO. There should be no profits and no bloated, duplicative executive salaries paid by health care dollars. I want my health care dollars to go to the providers with minimal administrative costs as occurs in France, the #1 rated system in the world.

    What we DON’T need are vast amounts spent on weapons of war and illegal aggressive wars. That’s where our taxes can and must be vastly reduced.

  122. 145 Elizabeth in Indianapolis
    March 22, 2010 at 19:01

    Ask your LSE buddy, Zach, what happens when the wonderful Medicaid program gets all this new funding for people, but there are no longer enough doctors for them, because doctors don’t accept Medicaid patients (they would have to accept substantially less in payment to do so)?

  123. 146 Vijay Pillai
    March 22, 2010 at 19:02

    Best news to american public since NHS more than 60 years ago across the ocean.

  124. 147 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 19:02

    @ Joane

    With the right to vote, are you forced to vote?

    With the right to eat at the lunch counter, are you forced to eat at the lunch co unter?

    Going to school is not a right, it’s a responsibility, you are FORCED to go to school.

    So are we saying that healthcare is a right or a responsibility, given that you are now FORCED to buy health insurance?

    What other products can the government now force you to purchase?

  125. 148 Lisa
    March 22, 2010 at 19:05

    I think Obama did the right thing and showed strength in this endeavor. I agree that it is not as much reform as we need, but it is a step in the right direction. The anti-Obama people need to realize that being that way is not patriotic and is un-American. I never liked George Bush, but I had respect that he had been elected…once at least and then stole one, but he was the president. And I would stand beside him as an American even if I did not agree with him. The people in America against Obama do not seem to be able to rise to that level of integrity and are by and large selfish a-holes. I am glad this bill passed even if not perfect, just to show that group in America that they are not in the majority and not as powerful as they would like to delude themselves into believing. And for those who don’t like Obama, I have to say it is my personal experience that it is based in racism, even though they will deny it.

  126. 149 Eileen Maxfield
    March 22, 2010 at 19:05

    Our current health insurance is from my husband’s work. While I am grateful for our plan I am not happy with it. Our son can only be continued on this plan if he is attending college and we can not obtain insurance for him because of his current medical issues.

    We now pay more for the employee share of our insurance than we paid for private insurance 16 years ago.

  127. 150 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 19:09

    How can your guest say that Obama has delivered on his promises, when (1) Obama iddn’t write this bill, it’s not his job to write legislation, (2)not even anyone in congress knows what’s in this bill. Pelosi even stated you need to vote on it to find out what’s in it. (3) What do student loans have to do with healthcare? Why did the federal government nationalize the student loan industry in this bill?

  128. 151 Andrew in Australia
    March 22, 2010 at 19:10

    Glad I’m not sick and living in the US.

  129. 152 Wendy Lovell
    March 22, 2010 at 19:11

    I am proud of President Obama and the Democrates for having the guts to stand up for what is morally right for the people of the U.S.A. I am sure that if you took a poll of the people who opposed the passing of that bill, the majority would be people who are republicans, white, middle class, rich, and people with health care already. Obviously the 32 million people who do not have health care were not polled for their opinion.

    The republicans keep talking about “the American people” who do not want the bill to pass. They cannot speak for “the American people”. They are speaking for themselves and their selfish, biggoted attitudes towards other Americans who are not as priviledged as them. Go Obama!

    Wendy.

  130. 153 Pamela
    March 22, 2010 at 19:14

    Yes!! this was a wonderful first step….Americans resist change and live in a bit of a bubble. I must fault many of my countrymen for falling prey to the “fear mongers” and out and out lies that have been told to them about this bill!!

    We will come through, though as we always do…..

    President Obama has done a wonderful job!!

  131. 154 sascha
    March 22, 2010 at 19:22

    The sad thing is they weren’t even talking about universal healthcare. All they were merely talking about is health insurance reform… and they could barely even do that.
    WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND???
    The public option is basically the gov’t setting up its own insurance company that wouldn’t exclude anyone because of pre-existing … See moreconditions, and would provide health insurance at a reasonable price, unlike say….EVERY insurance company in existence.
    Make no mistake. The insurance companies were afraid of having to compete with the TRUTH because the second Obama had “abandoned” the public option, all of those health-insurance stocks SHOT UP!!!…

  132. 155 teej
    March 22, 2010 at 19:25

    Couple of observations….My understanding of basic democracy is that it serves the majority….not the minority..the rest is a negotiation. There will always be people who oppose any move. But majority rules. If you dont like it, you dont have to move to europe, you just have to get out and vote.

    Second, the concept of self reliance (the American way) is a wonderfully romantic and out dated concept. People drive on the roads…built by the governments, subscribes to following the increasingly arcane and complicated laws…set by the government, utilises the emergency services to remove cats from trees…supplied by the government and use the oil that is fought for….by their governments.
    Here in Costa Rica, there are many hard core republicans who have left their country in political demonstration. For those of you who say that those wanting a different system should move to europe, well, there are plenty of your right wing buddies here in CR so maybe you can come join them and let the USA look after its people like a civilized government.

  133. 156 Kacey
    March 22, 2010 at 19:26

    In general I think we Americans want to take care of all contributing members of our society. It is the fear of paying for people that are capable of working but choose not to. How do your countries deal with the freeloaders?

  134. 157 Laurie
    March 22, 2010 at 19:28

    i do not want the health “reform”. i am 25 and married i am not “rich” and can afford health care! this i not change this is still closed door discussions where the insurances companies will come out fat! this bill puts a limit on how many pretax dollars i can save for health care! what family can live on $2500 saved a year for health care! less then three years then i will vote for my change!

  135. March 22, 2010 at 19:29

    I am a Canadian, now living in the US after a 18 month stint in France. Both Canada and France have good public health care. I can speak to the efficiencies of the Canadian system in Ontari which is a single payer system; no insurance companies, no disputed charges, no bills sent to collection agencies; no refused services your doctor orders…. No, not perfect because Ontario chooses to “under fund” the system to keep costs low. That means running hospitals nearer to capacity and prioritiziing treatments based on urgency. I believe the cost however is about 1/2 of the US. If they spend say 3/4, they would have a first rate system. However, it all comes at a cost and they’ve silently voted for a good system that’s affordable to all.
    Here in America, there’s too many at the feed trough; Lawyers, Insurance Companies, Drug Companies and the medical system which is unable to make value calls on services. I hope this is step on the right direction and cost control and cost management follow closely.

  136. March 22, 2010 at 19:30

    I am a small business owner. I was planning to re-hiring 2 employee’s whom I had laid off last year. I will have to wait and see what happens now as the health care bill is 2500+ pages and no one really knows what the employer comtributing taxes will be. (Even Rep Pelosi said we have to pass it to see what’s in it.)

    Also, I appreciate how Europeans are confused about American reluctence about this but they have to understand, “Americans” are not Europeans. This may well change the way America is able to react to the world. Not just the political issues you may not like but alos the Haiti’s of the world. Hoiping for the best but expecting the worst.

  137. 160 ian
    March 22, 2010 at 19:31

    Regarding Premiums.
    Premiums have been already going up way before this Bill passed.
    I have no problem paying something more, if that goes to help others. For now, my increases have only been going to companies whose primary goal as public traded companies is to make money – not provide health care.

  138. 161 Kamali
    March 22, 2010 at 19:32

    I’m writing from Kenya, though I’m Rwandan. US government give funds to a lot of African government, which in most cases end up in the hands of the corrupt African government officials. The family of most African government officials get treatment in best western countries hospitals, in which some of those American can’t afford. Why should America gets funds to give to corrupt African politicians and forget its own citizens? US government does not do business, the money it gives to Africa comes from US citizens. They should be given the priority. Obama has done the right thing.

  139. 162 Mark D. NYC
    March 22, 2010 at 19:38

    Bravo to the President and the Democrats for sticking with it and doing the right thing.

    Over time, people will come to appreciate this legislation and it will save money through preventative care, a healthier population and a bigger risk pool. Insurance companies have been ripping people off for a long time: you pay them when you’re healthy and they drop you if you get seriously sick.

    Those who oppose this are generally the lunatic Tea Party Republicans who drag out the “Socialist, communist, Nazi Bhuddist Boogey-man”, spew hate speech and are generally out of touch with reality.

    Rock on Obama we’re with you!

  140. 163 jane beckmann
    March 22, 2010 at 19:38

    The ugly and hysterical opposition to health care reform showed their true colors during their Washington protests. The racial slurs, homophobic prods, hyperbole, and hate spewed by these Americans shows their interest is purely in obstructionism, misrepresentation and nasty partisanship. I feel deep shame for them and for their bigoted selfishness, and pride in a president who is willing to fight this battle. Sure, the bill is not ideal – it still caters to the corrupt insurance industry, and failed to offer a public option – but bless Obama for taking a first, and substatial step towards a moral imperative of universal coverage.
    Jane Beckmann
    San Antonio

  141. 164 Colin L Beadon
    March 22, 2010 at 19:38

    All I can thruthfully say! Thank God Obama made this health reform bill through. It is a bill for all those millions of Americans who could not afford becoming ill. At last, it is a bill provided for the ordinary working man and woman so that they can forget their nagging background fear should they become sick, or fall unhealthy.
    No doubt the medical business world won’t be happy. But the medical business world needs to start thinking about the lives and livelyhood of people, and less about their own bulging bank accounts.

  142. 165 Sean
    March 22, 2010 at 19:40

    All this griping about the government taking over healthcare is obscuring the fact that Medicare and Medicade are government agencies. In fact, I pay taxes for it! So what is the big deal if we extend that care to everyone? And as for it being too expensive why don’t we just stop fighting wars for a little while and perhaps cut back on defense spending, etc etc etc…you know the argument.

  143. 166 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 19:44

    President Obama didn’t PASS anything. Congress did. How can you trust the opinions of people who don’t even know the property terminology to describe the legislative process? He is the chief executive. He executes laws, he doesn’t PASS laws. Congress, the house of representatives, passed this legislation.

  144. 167 Carlos martinez
    March 22, 2010 at 19:50

    I wish this bill did more. The real problem is a class problem. We working class Americans are the ones carrying the deadweight of corporate America and it’s apologists. The right wing over here (in Texas,where I live) is going crazy.

    • 168 Thomas Murray
      March 22, 2010 at 20:49

      I ditto Carlos.

      Problem is, the US is in such need of Health Care Reform that the congress (and the president) deliberately compromised on the public option (or gov’m’t provided health insurance) rather than let the legislation die.

      It’s perhaps no secret that the real hot air behind the so-called tea party movement was the health insurance industry. To get some idea of the magnitude of this dodge, my health insurance bill was up to $270 per month (that’s 180 British pounds) for an otherwise healthy middle-aged man.

      So we Americans are getting pretty much gouged by our health insurers … and why the congressional health reform is a step in the right direction.

      As before, our collective American health care is much too important to be left in the grip of profiteers.

      –Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  145. March 22, 2010 at 19:55

    Fantastic news, Obama has done the right thing. Its just a real shame that the Repulicans would rather keep the status quo, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. 17,000.00 people DIE each year because they don’t have healthcare cover. It also strikes me that they are also to quick to want to downsize governments role, when it suits them, but blame the government and expect them to do something when things aren’t as they should be, namely as in unemployment. Those that don’t support this bill are selfish, uncaring and need to remember “that what goes around comes around”

  146. 170 Jasper Ilerea
    March 22, 2010 at 19:56

    The pastor is correct. Helping each other should be voluntary.

    I am Canadian. Recently my mom had Bleeding in her eye. The Laser procedure to fix the issue, took 4 months to get scheduled. A colonoscopy took 1.5 years to get scheduled. This is normal over here.

    In the USA, no one is denied care. Everyone gets excellent health care. That is why us poor Canadians like to cross the border to get taken care of promptly.

    Yes it costs a lot. But you get what you pay for. When the government gets there hands on health care you get corruption and iefficencies. Just like you have with Medicare.

    Health care should be like auto insurnace. Mandatory and personal. Not employer funded. There also should not be any government health insurance (not even Medicare).

  147. 171 steve
    March 22, 2010 at 19:57

    The burden of this will fall on the middle class. The poorest people will get free or heavily subsidized insurance, the rich, the cost of insurance will either be peanuts compared to what they make, or will have insurance provided by employers, and the taxes they pay won’t be that much compared to how much they are still taking home. However, the middle classes, got another thing coming for them. If they don’t get employer coverage, they will presume they’ll get a subsididy. not so, only goes to the very poor people. So you’ll lose all that money you would have otherwise had, because now you are FORCED to buy insurance. and you won’t get that subsidy… Watch, the middle class will complain the most

  148. 172 Jason
    March 22, 2010 at 20:00

    Why do they keep saying on the show that Obama passed this bill? If your show seeks to inform the rest of the world about US internal politics, you would make clear that it was Congress – a body of 535 of the peoples’ representatives – who passed the bill. Obama had a hand in influencing its passage, but this is an important distinction to make.

    In the US, the executive does not make laws, period. Holding up Obama as the sole reason this bill passed is to grant him a level of regal authority that he does not and cannot have. It’s intellectually lazy to continue to repeat this, and it sounds like from the non-Americans calling in, they’re repeating it as if it were fact.

  149. 173 stephanie
    March 22, 2010 at 20:02

    I’m one of those uninsured Americans people keep talking about and I also voted for Obama but the notion that I’m going to have to BUY insurance or suffer a fine of hundreds of dollars and the Government is going to facilitate that action through my TAX RETURN? And that fine doubles the second year, by the way. I wholeheartedly agree that reform is long/ well overdue in the healthcare industry…but this law is a SHODDY PRODUCT. It seems hypocritical to me at this point for our government to drag Toyota through the wringer for shoddy workmanship in their product, yet pat themselves on the back for passing into law something that by their own account still needs a good amount of work. By the way, the health insurance racket plays both sides of the aisle–who could better stand to gain in such a mandatory but still profit-driven enterprise?

  150. 174 Cabe UK
    March 22, 2010 at 20:23

    Its strange but most people who are against the bill are worried that what ever they are paying/ doing now, will just be rolled out on a National scale to everyone?

    Isn’t this supposed to be a ‘reform’ … and, just the ‘first baby steps’ at that?

    Why not wait and see?
    The most sensible thing would be to just have ONE operative handling everyting and then just get rid of All your middle-men Lawyers, Insurance Companies and Drug Companies who seem to be fleecing the system before it can get anywhere near a doctor!
    if you can do that, your ‘insurance’ costs will come right down to a normal and sensible level…

  151. March 22, 2010 at 20:24

    Alas, that this Health Care Reform has been laid to rest. However, it still leaves one bamboozled as to why there is so much noise and hatred coming from the Republican Party. Does it mean there is none within the party who can truly rise up and believe in their gut that as politicians they should serve the poor, unfortunate millions without health insurance? Its a shame that the idea is called Socialism. What is wrong with such an idea; or if not socialism, to care for others? Europe has come a long way to help its citizens with an affordable health system and is working effectively,regardless of the challenges facing the National Health Systems.
    Its high time the haters,far rights,naysayers and so called fiscal responsible Republicans took the high ground to think of others than themselves. After all, the poor are humans just like themselves.

  152. March 22, 2010 at 20:48

    I believe health care reform is very good for any country no matter the cost. This is because it is about saving lives NOT taking lives.
    Besides, the US is the only supper power of the world and thus should lead in doing contructive things such as providing health care for all especially for all US Citizens accross the board with out conditions.

    For those who are crying about the cost, I want to remind them that the US is very powerful financially. They’ve got money to go to war like that of IRAQ. This was one of the wrong place the US ever waisted money, because the reason up to present has not been justified. Worst of all, it took innocent lives. Therefore no matter how expensive is health care for 32 million Amricans who are vulnerable to diseases, it is worth the price. I am for saving lives. May God bless all those leaders of the US who worked very hard to get this health care reform bill past. God is looking at you and will surely reward you, because you are for saving lives NOT taking lives. Bravo!

    • 177 Lisa Crozier
      March 24, 2010 at 19:09

      We were not meant to live for years and years. The majority of healthcare costs come in the last 6 months of life, because everyone wants to save Gramma or Grampa or Mom and Dad, even if they are 95 years old. I think a common sense approach would be best. Everyone does get medical care, because they cannot be turned away from the hospitals.

      Yes we are a superpower, but this will bring us down to a third world country status! In my opinion, someone else can play the superpower and support the rest of the world, because many other countries never step up to the plate….We’ll just become isolationists and you can take care of yourselves!

  153. 178 Richard in Arkansas (USA)
    March 22, 2010 at 21:07

    I am glad this passed. I have just about had it with those opposed this bill. I have severed several longtime friendships over the last 2 years over this.

    The fact that we have so many stupid people here in the states, that are being used by corporate America while big business uses them to line there pockets. American greed is what started this whole worldwide recession and Greed is what is going to take this country down I’m afraid.

    But, at least for today, there is some hope that America can overcome some of it’s old demons.

  154. 180 TomK in Mpls
    March 22, 2010 at 21:41

    Here is some important history. In Bill Clinton’s second term, he abolished the Welfare system. It’s purpose was to be sure that under any circumstanses, families (mostly single moms) would be able to feed and house themselves. It was a failure by every measure. Then Bush Jr tried to privatize ( disband or convert to private commercial programs ) Social Security Insurance. Because there is not enough funding for it to continue.

    Now we are going to try the same thing again?

  155. March 22, 2010 at 22:03

    There needs to be one Universal Health Care where:

    1. All federal tax payers get covered, first $3,000 that a citizen pays into the Federal tax system pays for a Universal Health Care System.

    2. All citizens pay the same amount, no matter age, economic bracket, previous health care history. or where they live.

    3. All private health care providers get the $3,000 for all individual citizens, whether in the V.A. system, Medicare, Mediaid, Indian Health Care System, or Welfare.

    4. No one be denied coverage, or be cancelled for any reason of health.

    5. The coverage always have a 10 percent co-pay cost to make sure it is not free health care and that people do not run to the doctor every time they have a sniffle or small ache or pain.

    troop

  156. 182 unknown
    March 22, 2010 at 22:40

    i can’t believe that some americans are going against this bill. i believe the people who are against are the people who has the money and can afford .but there are millions of people who can’t afford health care and what obama is doing would do great in the long run. i think a country needs healthy people to prosper . This bill could help a lot.American complaints that the government is pocketing tax payers money and now obama wants to use the tax payers money to help those same tax payers .now some of the tax payers and the people who pocketed the money are against it .I live in Canada and trust me i love my health care system here. so american needs to wise up its either you care about your health or you can just let the government , doctors , congress man n woman take your hard working money .its up to y’all to make the decision thats gonna benefit the people of america.

    • 183 Lisa Crozier
      March 24, 2010 at 19:04

      Well that is great, but what about all of the Canadian’s who cross the border to the US to get their surgeries performed here, instead of having to wait 6 mos to a year in Canada. A Canadian MRI technician told us that there were only 4-5 MRI’s in the whole of Canada-is that good medicine?

      Besides, honey, America is America because we are a democracy and it is really none of your business.

  157. 184 Keith
    March 22, 2010 at 22:55

    In this episode of world have your say the participants did not have a conversation with eachother. Insteadf they just waited turns in stating their own agendas. In some cases what one person would say would be totally unconnected to the previous statement. It was like a bunch of people talking to themselves instead of talking with eachopther. I have noticed this often occurs when Americans discuss things together…. well discuss is the wrong word.

  158. 185 shanti
    March 22, 2010 at 23:40

    i’m so tired of hearing comparisons to other countries. there are no other countries that are even remotely similar enough to make any worthwhile comparison. what ever form it takes here will be unique to the US and thats whats at the core of the issue of why its been so hard and taken so long.

  159. March 23, 2010 at 00:07

    I am in agreement with the health care reform policies of President Obama. I have been denied health care insurance due to preexisting medical conditions!

  160. March 23, 2010 at 00:55

    The only medical health care I have left is Veterans Health Care here in the USA.

  161. March 23, 2010 at 06:06

    Hi,

    For me Obama has definitely done the Americans a mighty big wrong by having got this bill on Health care passed.

    The American people will soon start feeling the wrong that has been perpetuated o them by the passing of this bill.

    With this we see true face of Obama who stamps on people and dis regards their true feelings.

    Philip

  162. March 23, 2010 at 14:53

    obama’s healthcare initiative is dictatorship in action! i have meticulously taken care of myself for over 40 years. i do not smoke, drink or use drugs. i have been an ovo-lacto vegetarian since my teens. i exercise daily and keep stress out of my life. because of this i enjoy perfect health! i have no need for health insurance, but under obama’s initiative i will be forced to buy health insurance or be put in jail! why, because my money is needed to subsidize all the millions of selfish gluttonous, drunken, drug addicted individual who have spent their entire lives abusing themselves! maybe the bbc will report this side of the story when i am thrown in jail!

    • 190 patti in cape coral
      March 23, 2010 at 17:32

      believeroftheway certainly gave me a good laugh! Of course everyone who gets sick or is born with an illness did it to themselves! ;0) I’m going to go home and shoot up heroin, drink a couple of dirty martinis, sleep with a couple of infected individuals, and eat a bucket of chicken, courtesy of believeroftheway, who has made this debauchery possible!

    • 191 Lisa Crozier
      March 24, 2010 at 19:01

      Right on!

  163. 192 jens
    March 23, 2010 at 17:51

    believeroftheway,
    of course your perfect health will remain intact into the high ages. you will never have a stroke, you will never slip and fall, you are immune to infectiouse diseases or flying objects……iin short you are immortal, maybe not.

    health care is based on a solidarity principle that the health pay to cover the sick, but then in return are covered when they are sick.

  164. 193 angelica adams
    March 23, 2010 at 19:31

    In my state of Massachusetts health insurance is a law and those who cannot afford to be insured have to pay stiff fines I had a conversation with an immigrant who is an American citizen living in Boston who is self employed He and his wife cannot afford health insurance for themselves but do have their 2 children insured The idea is to get more people to have health coverage but if they do not they are breaking the law Those who cannot afford health coverage are generally living on the fringe of society If universal health coverage is to be truly effective no one should be punished and made a criminal if they cannot afford to buy the health insurance coverage and those who do not want universal health coverage for whatever reason should have the option to opt out of the system without fear of being punished It is too bad that we as a society in US have not evolved to the point where we could have ideally everyone insured so that they could have the best health care in the world In US many people are out of work with no hope for a job that pays a descent living wage So how can they afford health insurance?

  165. 194 tekkooo
    March 23, 2010 at 20:58

    Has Obama done the right thing with health care? Absolutely.
    During the dot.com bubble I lost half of my fortune it hurt, but didn’t hurt as much as my tooth ache and other illness I suffered since, or before. Without doubt, Health comes first before all other human concerns.
    I am sure, those who voted against Obama’s health care plan would consider giving their fortune away just to get their health back.
    How on earth could the Republicans dare to deny million of people – health care! Is that, because they can afford it? How about, the rest of the masses who are less fortunate! Have some shame Republicans and consider it— charity, donation, anything or whatever!
    It is no surprise that Obama adopted that course of action at the infancy of his presidency – not because he is a socialist or otherwise.- Of-course not. Obama is passionate person – the man cares. During the critical moments of his election campaign he left to attend and visit his dying relative – that tells it all.
    Dear Obama, you are my hero. Just do what is right and the world will be behind you. Never mine those Americans who don’t deserve you.

  166. March 24, 2010 at 03:51

    There are so many LIES and misinformation regarding Healthcare Reform. Worse yet, people’s lives are at stake if they truely don’t understand the issues and are NOT educated health insurance consumers. Here’s a great starting point to learn more with 10 questions to find out if you have “Crappy” coverage now. Well worth the read. http://wethepeopleusa.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-truth-about-preexisting

  167. 196 Lisa Crozier
    March 24, 2010 at 18:59

    Obama has pushed this too fast and without the necessary thought and time needed. He really doesn’t care as long as his agenda his pushed. This will totally decrease our quality and access to health care.

    What really needed was insurance reform-pre-existing conditions, portability across state lines and TORT reform so physicians do not have to practice defensive medicine. The more the government is involved the lesser our quality of care. Big government and a single payer system are not the answer. There is no utopia or equal way to deliver health care-look at China and Russia, look at Canada and England. There will always be the haves and have nots no matter what you do.

  168. 197 steve
    March 25, 2010 at 13:38

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/24/AR2010032402927.html

    Even the washington post admits that the healthcare mandate (to buy insurance) is likely unconstitutional. But fear not liberals, there will still be healthcare reform even if the mandate is overturned, as it will be.

  169. 198 steve
    March 25, 2010 at 13:39

    What the left needs to do, and I would support, is a constitutional amendment accomplishing the goal of universal healthcare, either a state run system, or requiring people to buy insurance. But without an amendment, it cannot be done except by the states.

  170. 199 Mary Bolton
    March 26, 2010 at 03:29

    Don’t think the mandate will be overturned. To the thought that people are freeloaders; what about Blackwater and their incompetence not to mention the numerous murders of Iraqis they still haven’t been called to account for? The reality is in a capitalist economic construct unemployment is structured to keep other’s wages low; so the word freeloader is a misnomer; let’s rather call them economic victims.


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