March 15, 2009

Sunday's LKL: Pres. Bill Clinton and Sanjay Gupta!

Posted: 05:44 PM ET

Tonight, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta fills in for Larry and his first guest is former President Bill Clinton!  His administration tried to revamp America's healthcare, but failed.  artclintoncnnWhat does he make of President Obama's plan?  He'll talk to Sanjay about that and more.

Then, an exclusive with Christopher Reeve's daughter!  Alexandra Reeve speaks out on President Obama's order for an increase in government funding of stem cell research.  What does she think of the decision her father fought so hard for?

It's all tonight as Sanjay Gupta guest-hosts on Sunday's "Larry King Live," at 9 p.m., ET.

Larry returns to the desk Monday and he'll be joined by Judge Judy!  She never disappoints!   Leave your comments or questions for Judge Judy Sheindlin HERE! Then, tune-in Monday night for the live show. We just may use your comments on the air during our Blog Segment.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Larry King Live

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Joe G. (Illinois)   March 15th, 2009 8:23 pm ET

Calling Dr. Gupta.. I don’t think anyone should care about Obama’s Healthcare Proposal for the simple fact that it’s been called Obama’s. Had it been called Canadian, Brittan, European Like, then maybe.. Obama sure wants to be unique and original.. A Fantasy Hero all of his own.. Like during the primaries when he was saying that he was going to reinvent the Wheel in Washington (As if Standard Round Wheel wasn’t efficient or good enough for his standards.. Anyhow, can’t believe you got Clinton to fall into the trap of supporting the Obama Frenzy.

john   March 15th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

I suffer from paranoid schizoprenia.people will not hire me because they are afraid of my behavior.others with this illness are homeless,and cannot get health insurane. I have been victimized by people who make fun of my behavior,or retaliate against me because i have said something to them t.he republicans don't care about america,all they care about is big business.

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

@ john

It takes a lot of courage to say what you just said. I work in California for the government, and if you live in California, you can go to your local county mental health and receive help including medications that would be paid for by the county. I hope this helps you.

G. Bradley   March 15th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Larry, why do the Democrats keep talking about Health Care Reform when what they are really taking about is Insurance not Health Care. We currently have the best health care system in the world. The Obama administration just wants to control the money and ruin our health care system in the process. The poor people in America have the best Insurance now Medicade. With Medicade the don't pay for anything. It is better than the insurance plan of any working middle class person in the nation. Tell Obama to leave our health care system alone, it is not broke and continues to create jobs even in the current economy.

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Former Pres. Bill Clinton and Sanjay Gupta!

Most Americans do not understand the difference between “social economy” and “socialistic economy”. We have been “brain-washed” through big business that government intervention = socialism and the loss of our freedom. Therefore, they are resistant to government controlled health care. We need to:

Re-educate the American people that government does NOT = socialistic health care.
Re-educate Americans that an economic health care = ultimately decrease in spending.
Move from treatment into prevention (like you want to do with childhood obesity)

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Medicade does NOT help the single or childless poor. It only helps those that qualify for Social Security or Welfare

Childless Americans or those that their children are over age 18 have NO INSURANCE! Unless they pay for it like I do at $658 a month premiums for Cigna HMO or receive it through their work! Not everyone can afford $658 a month. It really hurts me!

Michael   March 15th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

I am enjoying the interview with Bill Clinton, but it would be better if there wern't the two distracting, irritating info boxes at the bottom of the screen.

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

((( Former Pres. Bill Clinton )))

I am so happy to see your interview and again working on health care! We desperately need it. So many Americans that have no insurance have to utilize the Emergency room which is a terrible drain on our hospitals.

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:37 pm ET


I have no info box at the bottom of my screen

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Stem cell research will be the hallmark of our country. It will help in boosting our economy...hopefully the American scientists will either move back to the USA to further research or continue to stay in the USA for the research.

Tsion   March 15th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

President Bill Clinton has said it and has found out why the quality
of the nations health is not just there. But finished his term before
a solution. Next Pres. Bush, . Now Pres. Barack Obama
with the idea of Stem Cell Research. Research from the oldest dis-
order to the latest I suggest; all concern need to sit and check the
statistics and go from there. Correct me if I am wrong, many die
from sickness they had from birth, injuries from accidents, or simply
from mal practice. In any case the rate joining this catagory is speeding. So it has been a carry over to date. I have a suggestion
for laying a good foundation for the health reform plan. Solution needed. Chris Reeves died from infection. I happen to e-mail the doctors if he can have a therapy I can help. They waited sometime and send me e-mail by saying they have successfully installed a battery (or something) but eight months later he died from infection. I never stopped thinking of him even after he left. I knew deep down in my heart I would have given him some relief. . Chris. Reeves 's accident touched my heart and soul but he was out of reach and out of touch.

Dodie from CA   March 15th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Is Larry King OK???

I hope he is just taking a nice vacation!

Everyone has been wonderful with their interviews, but I do Miss Larry King

Tsion   March 15th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Sorry I came back to correct my e-mail address.

albert   March 15th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Doctor Gupta allowed President Clinton to say multiple times that "we would only be using embryos that would never be fertilized". Doctor Gupta I assume you understand that a embryo is already fertilized, so how is it that in the 5 minutes that I watch you allowed him to say it 3 times? This is why I don't watch CNN. You do not deliver new – you preach a message and no fact can get in the way of a message.

Dan   March 15th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

Doesn't Bill Clinton know that an embryo has already been fertilized and has already begun the process to becoming a fully developed human being? This is basic stuff. If he doesn't know what an embryo is how can he speak with any authority on stem cell research?

Camille   March 15th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

I'm glad that former president Clinton suppose PRESIDENT Obama, but that is not whats bothering me. What your next topic should be about all these people that are still weaning about Obama, get over it he's president the fat lady has sung!!!!! But the biggest problem is most of the commentator that come on every other day, talking about day 1, day 20 or day 52 and what has Obama done. Give the man a chance, he didn't create these problems, the one you guys thought was so great, left this mess. What Obama needs to worry about is the people that are around him everyday in their pinstrip suit and underneath it is the joker!!!!!!! Prince Bush didn't go through all this hating because democrats know how to give respect.

Dorothy LaBarbera   March 15th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Why does Dr. Gupta not correct Clinton when he states that no embryos involved in stem cell research will be fertilized? An embryo comes into being when an egg is fertilized. The embryo contains the full complement of genetic expression that belongs to the future full term infant. Why does Clinton keep saying, incorrectly, that the embryo will never be fertilized?

DAVID from PA   March 15th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Embryos ARE fertilized eggs.....Dr. Gupta must have known that....why didn't he correct President Clinton?

donna bodin   March 15th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

This has been a one sided propaganda show to help promote embryonic stem cell research. Scientist are getting better results from adult stem cell research than embryonic. My father has Parkinson's and we are strongly apposed to having embryonic cells tested for our behalf. What is it worth to win the world if you loose your soul? It should be on a volunteer basis if one wants their hard earned taxes to go towards such a act.

David Boring   March 15th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

i can't believe you had john podesta on the program, what are you hurting for guests, why not have some real people who can add to the discussion like the doctor who has to tell a patient that their ins. doesn't cover that procedure which may save their life or the nurse who has to care for that person. and then have the heartless greedy insurance guy on to explain his bottom line or bonus.

cupcake   March 15th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Someone please explain to me, how the 'smartest' guys in the world can use the term 'unfertilized embryo'. What do you think an embryo is? Has the definition changed? Can't believe no one has called any of them on this. An egg is an egg, and just what do we do to fertilize it?

Annette   March 15th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

This research will help the people who don't want our tax dollars to help pay for the reseach. I know if those people had to have a cure for something they'd jump on the band wagon and go for the medical treatment to save their lives. This research benefits my daughter who has MS and I have diebetes it will certainly help me.

Pati Day   March 15th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Re: Stem cell research. I had SCR (Stem Cell Replacement) after high dose treatment for Stage IV Breast cancer, in a clinical trial via Univ. of Miami (FL) 12 years go. It was hell, but I survived with no long term problems. I don't know why the trials were stopped. I want my experience to help others...and to let the world to know Stem cell replacement DOES WORK! I would be glad to donate my cells. I DO know that stem cell TRANSPLANTS are not always successful, but whatever the Stem Cell REPLACEMENT trial did had some least it was for me. I would hope research on SCR, as well as SCT is included in the bill.

Kenneth Sadler   March 15th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Just a brief moment: I fully aprove of the federal support of stem-cell research.

Amy   March 15th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

As a pro-life supporter of embryonic stem cell research, I feel it is very important that people have an accurate understanding of the facts regarding ES research. President Clinton repeatedly stated that these embryos were not going to be fertilized. In fact , they are utilized about 4-5 days post fertilization. – Simply noted for clarification.

Jeff Terry, MD   March 15th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

I would like to see a representative from the AMA on your panel. Why do we not want to hear the voice of medicine and all of the doctors who take care of people every day. I was in Washington last week at a conference to learn from systems abroad (Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands). All the comments were mostly negative. After 10 years in the new system things fall apart. How can President Clinton talk about Canada as a positive system? Our citizens would never put up with the delays that they have in Canada. The AMA has a good plan with funding to allow the private practice of medicine to continue; to preserve the ability for physicians and patients to privately contract like other businesses; and to reform the insurance industry and antitrust laws to allow more competition. We better design a system that is competitive, stimulating, and challenging in order to continue to attract our young smart children to go into medicine. If we are not careful in the next generation your medical care will be run like the post office with the same type of motivated individuals. Our young smart people are not going to spend 10 years after college in training and incurring a $200,000 debt for the privalege of going into a medical system that does not reward their hard work and dedication.

Fred & Joanne Lourenso   March 15th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

Fred had an autonomous stem cell adult transplant in l997 and stayed in a clear remission with no medications and no sideeffects. He has multiple myeloma, a deadly disease that people do not usually live this long.
He had a reoccurence last year and had chemo, a less expensive procedure and left him disabled.
Which is better, a productive life or cost effective therapy?

Genetico   March 15th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

Prevention, prevention, prevention, that is the key to solving the health care issue. Why isn't therapeutic masssage covered by insurance?

Adria Labi   March 15th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

Two questions that never seem to be answered when discussing health care reform:
How many of the 45 million uninsured are illegal immigrants or just people who do not making paying for insurance a priority?
What should be done about the millions we spend on providing hopeless services to the terminally ill and patients that are non-responsive...using extensive means to prolong life?

Lori from Ga   March 15th, 2009 10:12 pm ET

I welcome Stem Cells Greatly.Those whom are opposed to it make me angry because if they were in a position such as myself stuck in a wheelchair trust me everyone would agree on stem cells.I have had adult stem cells and pig stem cells.And I already called in California about the embryo stem cells to see if I would qualify to be treated.They're anwser was no because it would have to be a new spinalcord injury.I myself say treat anyone who needs it.Never know til you try!The only way it seems I am ever going to get my miracle is find another sponsor to go back out of the country.They should treat new or old injuries is my opinion.Thanks

Glo   March 15th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

I would like to see other cultural techniques, nutritional, physical, as well as medical programs, be integrated into our health system. We have many supplements available to us, i.e. vitamins, herbs, combinations thereof, and techniques used by other cultures but most of the time we do not know how to combine them or whether to combine them since the experts in each area do not associate with each other. We do not integrate the ideas of all of them into our healthcare systems.

cupcake   March 15th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

show me in the constitution where is says govt should support this type of research. go ahead, go read it, dare ya. Healthcare is fine, if an illegal alien can get free treatment, I think most of us can find a way............or, maybe they are part of the problem????????????naw.

debbie   March 15th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

I'm sure Dr. Gupta and Pres. Clinton know what embryos are. They are frozen and won't be implanted is what they are talking about.

My problem is this: the health care industry in this country is not the best. Our country is 48th in the world in health care, 48TH people. I believe is is because the hospitals are no longer non profit. Go back 20 or 30 years ago and look at your own cities hospitals. I bet most if not all were nonprofit. This was before Dr. Frist and his family started Health Corp of America, and started buying up hospitals. Get health care out of the hands of share holders that demand a profit not only from hospitals, but also insurance companies, and docs that expect to be multimillionaires. The same for pharmaceutical companies.

Yes, stem cell research will be the hope of the ill in this country, but we need to get back to health, not profit. We also need to look at alternative medicine. We are so arrogant in the country to believe that only we have the correct therapy and treatment. Take a look at what's out there.

And a comment for you Dr. Gupta. I am really disappointed in your decision to not be considered for Surgeon General. I would think that it would be a great honor, and one that you couldn't turn down, coming from the President of your country. I don't believe I will be watching CNN or NBC for their medical coverage as long as you are dispensing that info.

Margaret   March 15th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

Excellent interview! Very encouraging outlook from our former president. One complaint (and it's a big one): the "Larry King" jumpy, flashy identifier ran continually during the WHOLE interview. WHY??? It is unbearably distracting – makes it hard to concentrate on what's being said by the guest when you have to use so much concentration to try to block out the flashing and exploding identifier box. Really a downer. If it had been anyone but President Clinton I would have turned the TV off in disgust!

Thanks, Larry for your consistently good program. And PLEASE make them turn off that flashy sign so that I can continue to watch!

Mary from Ohio   March 15th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

Do all the research you want on stem cells just not on taxpayer dollars. An embryo is life to most Americans. There is plenty of stem cell research going on with private dollars and should remain that way. People should donate their own money to private research if they feel the need to and let me decide where to spend my money.

Laureli   March 15th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

The Republicans and Democrats sitting down to come up with a healthcare plan? Ouch!
If we're really ready to hear some fresh new out-of-the box thinking, put out out a call/contest to schools across the country! We've had some great ideas come from our future leaders.

Genetico   March 15th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

It seems to me that everyone opposed to stem cell research doesnt have a family member whose life and mobility depends on it. These people immediately turn towards scientists when it hits them personally. For them its pro-life to put excess unused embryos into the autoclave for destruction, but not to try to grow a spinal cord for a accident victim.

cupcake   March 15th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Amy, tell us what an embryo is, please? and if they are talking about 'eggs' don't use the term embryo. dah.

Forrest Budd from Lawrence, Kansas   March 15th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

I too would like to hear from Dr. Gupta as to why he didn't remind Pres. Clinton about the correct terminology about eggs, fertilization and frozen and thawed embryos. I feel that he knows better, but just misspoke,.. several times.

cupcake   March 15th, 2009 10:29 pm ET

Why do you assume those that dis approve of GOVERNMENT FUNDING are against the research??? There is plenty of private money, take pharmacies upcharging and fund it. Just don't take my dollars and put them to work killing embryos. There are plenty of other stem cells to study. Let those that do not have a moral problem with it fund it. simple as that.

Genetico   March 15th, 2009 10:29 pm ET

The word Clinton should have used is "implant" Embryos cannot grow into babies in a dish. Lets not talk semantics, we all know what he was talking about.

Jane L.   March 15th, 2009 10:29 pm ET

My husband is self employed and I'm not offered health insurance where I work, which is ironically for a small hospital district without a hospital in TX that is solely set up to care for the Indigent or poorest of the poor in the community. My husband and I have private pay insurance, which costs us over $560 per month with huge deductibles. I was ill and hospitalized last year then had several tests on another minor medical condition a month later. My insurance went up afterwards and now I am stuck with over $6000 in medical bills my insurance did not cover and I cannot pay. Neither my husband nor myself have any major medical problems however we still pay these high premiums. With the economic downfall, my husband has lost a substantial portion of income, yet our insurance coverage continues to rise. I cannot tell you how angry it makes me to read the comments that the poor have Medicaid! That person is completely in the dark regarding Medicaid and how you qualify for coverage! In Texas you must be pregnant, a child or be disabled to qualify for Medicaid! When you work and are not considered Indigent, you find yourself in my shoes..praying you will not get sick!! I hope and pray HR 676 is is time our country values people over profits!

Laureli   March 15th, 2009 10:34 pm ET

The Republicans and Democrats sitting down to come up with a healthcare plan? Ouch!
If we're ready to hear some fresh new out-of-the box thinking, put out a call/contest to schools across the country. We've had some great ideas come from our future leaders!

fran   March 15th, 2009 10:34 pm ET

Why is it OK to abort a fetus at 12 weeks but a crime to abort it at 13 weeks?.....I'm all for stem cell research derived from placental/cord blood or even spontaneous miscarried fetuses...but i don't want to see aborted fetuses used for stem cell research...i see these as babies with lives....this isn't about a religious point of view..its about lawmakers deciding when a life can start or stop...just live and let live folks...gawd...people freak out when someone where's a fur coat...

Jeanne Simpson   March 15th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

There are too many issues facing health care FOR ALL. I am a retired senior citizen. My late husband and I worked a total of 85 years paying for our own private insurances and also into Medicare and Social Security. We also paid for many 'illegitimate babies, and people who would NOT GO TO WORK. When I heard Bill Clinton stating that "those who are working and contributing to society" will have the best benefit from "socialized medicine" as I call it, made me apprehensive to my future health care as a healthy 65-year old retired senior.
I have read the agenda of really boils down to reducing care for seniors because it will not be COST EFFECTIVE. I do not want the politicians in Washington, D.C., present and past, determining the best medical care for my health care that I and my late husband worked for. This is socialized medicine that will affect me and also practicing physicians. We also have a daughter who is also a doctor and I sure this proposed agenda will also affect her.
I paid my dues!!

cupcake   March 15th, 2009 10:47 pm ET

Just imagine if all that bailout money was used for the uninsured................................where are our priorities?

Mary Turner   March 15th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

None of the Doctors (Oz, Gupta nor Fist...2 of them heart doctors) touched much health insurance dollars go to smoking related health much do the tobacco lobbysts pay to keep this issue from being discussed?
A non-discussion!

Charles   March 15th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

It is scientific fact that embryos are unique, live, humans. We should not fund embryonic stem cell research. Put our money on stem cells from other sources.

cupcake   March 15th, 2009 11:12 pm ET

We need to keep medicine private, govt out, simplify insurance, promote the education of new doctors, or else your age will determine your healthcare benefits. Why do you think they are calling it HEALTHCARE program. They want to manage it, like they do education, which produces brainiacs that get messed up with semantics, on national TV. If words aren't important, why use them at all?

morris alex m.d.   March 15th, 2009 11:14 pm ET

hat everyone should be covered.prior attempts to pass a national health program failed because it came from the top and did not envolve everyone that has an interest.I would suggest a seies of regional conerences including representatives from both parties house and senate.,physicians of all kind,association from nursing pt,ot,economists,ethicists,lawyers,private insurance.drug companies,lay people social security hospitalassociation,medical educators and any other groups that Dr.Emanuel and Sen Kennedy & Bockus might suggest Allwould be given the same topics to discuss..I hav eprepared a list that is all inclusive.Arepot would be made within 6 months.This would allow from Pres Obamma to handle other things first.

DAVID from PA   March 15th, 2009 11:22 pm ET

Should a woman be forced (by law) to bring to term a baby that is the product of rape? Even if the "woman" is only 10 years old?

The overwhelming majority of us approve of abortion in certain circumstances. ie The life of the innocent is less important than certain sets of circumstances.

Embryonic stem cells have the greatest potential of all the types of stem cells. It is probable that embryonic stem cells derived from donors who have certain characteristics (HIV or cancer immunity, for example)......will have greater potential to produce desired effects.

We should be producing and harvesting the stem cells with the greatest potential.

Or we should force the raped to birth the children and prohibit the production of embryos for invitro vertilization–if there's any chance that the embryos will be discarded or culled after implantation.

Pietro Sirianni   March 15th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

There are very few things I feel government should have a large hand in, health care is one of them. Capitalism by its nature has one goal in mind; "the bottom line." Health care should not be a "bottom line" enterprise. I do not want my health compromised so some company can make millions. The HMO's, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies have stolen enough money from us. Medical lobbyists are backed by millions of dollars. They buy congressmen everyday, while our health suffers. Enough already, capitalism does not mean its ok to let someone die so your company can make an extra 10k!

Charlene Nieponski   March 16th, 2009 12:31 am ET

Re: Healthcare - the word should be disease care. People like me who work diligently at actually taking care of their health - & spend tons of $ on alternative measures generally stay very healthy. What about a bonus or credit on our insurance premiums - like they do with auto insurance premiums? Chiropractors & physical therapsts plus naturopaths, acupuncturists & clinical nutritionists really are involved in "health care" - keeping people healthy. But allowed visits to them are very limited or not allowed at all per insurance companies. Americans are sicker than people in other countries - most people eat processed foods & genetically engineered foods plus meat / milk loaded with hormones & antibiotics. This kind of food causes disease. Many people have food allergies & do not even know what they are eating because they do not know with what their food has been modified! All food should be labeled when it is modified. Very often, we are what we eat but in this country, we do not even know what we are eating! Organic food is the norm in other countries. They do not have to pay extra for it. Alternative healing is the first method of healing in traditional German hospitals - not drugs. Why can't we take a page out of their book? It costs millions of $ to advertise on TV. Pharmaceutical company's tell people to tell their doctor what to give them perTV commercials! Shouldn't doctors know what to give their patients instead of the opposite? Omitting pharmaceutical commercials would save tons of $ on insurance premiums because the cost of advertising drugs on TV is passed onto the consumer . PS I hope their is a clinical nutritionist in the White House to keep our President & family healthy. I noticed that Obama likes sweets & processed foods waaay too much. Since he is a role model to so many children all eyes are on whatever he does & eats. He's very smart in most areas, but it does not appear that he knows enough about good nutrition. Our kids are so overweight in this country from fast foods that they have the beginning of clogged arteries at 3 yrs old. Young woman in their late teens have breast cancer in record numbers. Generally, this is from the foods they eat. But, again, those of us who have taken the time, energy & money to take responsibility for our health have to pay thru the nose for those who do not. I hope that some attention has been given to the above concerns.

gundi Barnard   March 16th, 2009 12:33 am ET

Stop that dumb ever changing / repeating window on the bottom right!!!! – It is irritating, distracting and stupid!!! We know we are watching "Larry King Live", even if Dr. Gupta is the host tonight. You could just have a quiet little signature thing there to tell the channel surfers what show this is...

Frank from Seattle   March 16th, 2009 12:49 am ET

As former President Clinton indicated, our health care system is quite inefficient and ineffective when compared to other industrial nations. One of the reasons for our inefficiency (among many) is the fragmentation of our delivery system. We have multiple health care providers billing for similar treatments. This is especially true in the orthopedic outpatient area, where one can see physicians, osteopaths, physical therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, occupational therapists, and personal trainers too often providing comparable services, some of which are non scientifically efficacious. It is time that "professional turf protection" is railed in, and streamlined for the benefit of all of us.

Matthew   March 16th, 2009 12:51 am ET

Why does President Clinton continue to insist that embryos are not fertilized, and why does not the good Dr. Gupta correct him? It just goes to show how ignorant they really are on the topic.

Cherie   March 16th, 2009 12:53 am ET

Regarding HealthCare Reform....
1. HMOs have managed health care for many years now. The only people getting rich from healthcare are CEOs of HMOs. Physicians reimbursements from insurance companies and medicare decrease yearly, while physicians overhead increase. This results in decreased compensation for physicians.

2. Frivoulous malpractice lawsuits are the second reason there is need for healhcare reform. People do not sue because something was DONE or NOT DONE right, they sue because they do not like how things turned out. Therefore, many unnecessary tests and interventions are being done to "cover your butt". These dollars spent do not improve outcome, they prove the doctor ordered every test he can think of to prove why he did what he did! Society and lawyers can thank themselves for this waste of system dollars!!!

3.Lastly, another waste in healthcare dollars come from not distinquishing the difference between PROLONGING LIFE from PROLONGING DEATH.
As a Criicial CAre Nurse, I see more money spent prolonging death!
Most health care dollars are spent during the last 6 months of life. And many, many times, dying process is only being prolonged, providing care that is uncomfortable to endure or watch being endured. These issues need to be corrected for any REAL reform to succeed.

T. H. (Tom) Smallwood, Sr.   March 16th, 2009 12:56 am ET

Regarding the stem cell research question: I believe that all restrictions governing this subject should be removed, and that researchers be encouraged in their endeavors. I also believe that government financing of this research should be discontinued. There is no place in something as important and promising as this field for governmental intervention. There is sufficient profit potential in this area that some of the best and brightest minds in the country will pursue the research.

connie kessler   March 16th, 2009 1:05 am ET

What is going to be done about these insurance conpanies being able to dictate what doctors we can see???

sofedup   March 16th, 2009 1:07 am ET

Will someone please explain to Bill Clinton that an Ebryo (undeveloped offspring) has already been FERTILIZED

C Smith   March 16th, 2009 1:10 am ET

Why does no one in the main-stream media talk about Single Payer health care for this country? Where is this coverage on CNN?? It is absolutely ridiculous that we continue to allow insurance companies to make the decisions about our health care. They are in the business of making money – and they make more money when they deny care. A single payer system would CUT costs. There wouldn't be multi-million-dollar salaries for CEO's and other executives. All this money, as well as advertising money, and money from other administrative costs could actually go to providing care. HR676 is the way to go.

Kira   March 16th, 2009 1:12 am ET

I cannot afford health care insurance. But if I could, I still don't trust insurance companies to live up to their obligations. When an insured person gets sick, the insurance companies refuse to pay, and how many people could fight the insurance companies under normal circumstances, let alone when they are frightened and in pain? As for preventive care, I'd like to get a health screening, but I fear that if the screening found anything, the insurance companies would call that a pre-existing condition and deny coverage. So where is the incentive for people to get preventive care if it's a major risk to get a health screening? The only solution is universal health care coverage for everyone, with no exceptions.

Shirley Hembrey   March 16th, 2009 1:13 am ET

A few questions about health care insurancne.

Susan Brinchman   March 16th, 2009 1:15 am ET

One concern I have heard from a teacher in Canada is that the government doctors (all of the doctors) have little incentive to learn more outside the box – to do new things ... their best docs leave Canada for the US, she told me. They don't get to pick their doctors, as they now have about 4,000 patients each (in her area) and aren't taking new patients, often. Their medical system is a mess, compared to when it first began in Canada. Also, they don't deal with environmentally caused illnesses, so those people have to travel to the US to get help.

Mary Ann Thibodeau   March 16th, 2009 1:22 am ET

Why didn't Dr. Gupta correct Bill Clinton when he commented that embryos should not be used if fertilized. I checked the web and found out that Embryonic stem cells are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of an early stage embryo known as a blastocyst. Human embryos reach this blastoplast stage 4-5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50-150 cells. These are Pluripotent stem cells, which can also be generated from adult fibroblast cultures. There has been more sucess using adult cells than embryonic cells. Perhaps we need to hear from Christian scientists in order to be better informed.

debra   March 16th, 2009 1:23 am ET


Early screening and detection:
even resulting in treatment still costs significantly less than treating and caring for these same individuals as their disease progresses.

Banning the use of substances such as high fructose corn syrup, styrofoam, bad plastics, certain pesticides, hormones, radiation and the like will greatly reduce many of the medical issues we face today.

Susan Brinchman   March 16th, 2009 1:23 am ET

It was mentioned on tonight's show that one of the reasons we have a healthcare crisis is that we are sicker than most other countries. One of the reasons for this is not being addressed, and this is our damp, moldy buildings. Prevention from environmental illnesses is vital to improving the healthcare in this country. This is directly related to tonight's topic. People with environmental illness cannot get healthcare readily. The millions who experience these are developing such serious illness that it overwhelms the system. Director, The Center for School Mold Help

Richard Crockett   March 16th, 2009 1:26 am ET

The supply and demand mechanism of free markets simply does not work well in health care. This problem is usually illustrated by the example of the diabetic patient and the need for insulin. The diabetic will pay any price for insulin to stay alive. Consequently the supply and demand mechanism does not effectively control price. Likewise, health care is subject to the same dynamic. It is known as inelastic demand.
Getting health care costs under control is going to be difficult.

Shirley Hembrey   March 16th, 2009 1:36 am ET

Please look into why insurance companies make you and your Md jump through hoops in order to fill Rx's. How much paperwork could be cut if insurance companies honored the Md"s Rx, not to mention the time required by the doctor and staff in order to complete all the information required. Just curious as to why health insurance companies have the power to over-ride a physicans order, any ideas?
Maybe, this could help to lower health care costs by eliminating some of the red tape that we have to go through in order to fill a prescription. Thanks, just a thought.

Grandmar247   March 16th, 2009 2:21 am ET

Why should my tax dollars be spent on Embryonic Stem Cell Research when I am against the procedure? Leave this Research up to the private sector. I have informed those which I have donated to in the past (Cancer Research, Diabetes, Kidney Foundation, March of Dimes etc.) that because the Government has decided to get involved in Medical Research, that I will no longer be donating. They can go to the Government and get their Research funded in the same fashion. If anyone reading this message agrees, I strongly suggest that you too take action. Maybe this will send a strong message to the Government that they need to leave some things to the private sector.

Olga Moreno   March 16th, 2009 2:32 am ET

My son, Gary was recently awarded Social Security Disability income benefits after over a one (1) year wait. He will now receive SSDI benefits for the work credits he has put in the Social Security System. We recently learned that he will not be eligible for Medicare Health Insurane until 2 years from the date hw was found eligible.

During the past year, Gary has had no income because of his chronic health problems however, he received medical assistance through the County Health Program for medication and other medical needs. Now, that he will be receiving SSDI income, we are afraid that the county may deny his medical assistance. We are looking into a health insurance for him that is going to cost half of what he will receive from SSDI benefits. We have no choice. Health Insurance is very important.

Our concern is that when a person is eligible for SSDI, they must wait 5 months before receiving benefits and there is no Medicare Health Insurance until a two (2) year period. What do ordinary people do without no Medicare Health Insurance for 2 years?

Also, when a person is eligible for Supplemental Security Income, SSI Program which is also administered under the Social Security System, this program helps those who have never worked placing in work credits. There is no 5 month waiting period for income benefits and automatically receive Medicaid Insurance with a retroactive date. This does not seem fair to working people putting in work credits into the Social Security System and then have to wait for 2 years to receive Medicare health insurance. Should it not be the other way, around?

The 2 year GAP needs to be addressed by President, Obama administration.

Thank you for your attention.

Darlene Garvais   March 16th, 2009 3:32 am ET

Dr Gupta and President Clinton spoke as though there were not already successes in treatment of diseases using stem cells. It was about 9 years ago, just after losing my 22 year old niece to Lupus and my 12 year old nephew to type 1 diabetes, that I learned about early successes with stem cell therapies (in Brazil?) There were already cases of complete remission. I donated cord blood three times to help others from suffering needlessly, but a science writer told me cord blood does not hold the potential that embryonic stem cells hold for differentiation. I don't argue that it is a dillemma, but why have we allowed fertility clinics and their clients to fertilize eggs which will never be born? Where was the moral compass pointing then? When a loved one is critically injured and shows no promise of living without artificial life support systems, we consider donating their organs so that others might live. The freezers are just that aren't they? I support President Obama and am sure that he has struggled on the issue of restraints, but I suspect that he knows he cannot anticipate every possible misuse and that a consensus of a panel of scientists would provide the most comprehensive guidelines on the use of the stem cells. Incidentally, my niece and nephew (from different sisters) were entirely healthy before the onset of their auto-immune disorders. They were not overweight or reckless with their health. It could happen to any of us. My niece had good care while she was an Army dependent, but when she matured and was unable to maintain a full college schedule, she lost that coverage. Medical took care of her from there, but only when her flares became acute and irrepairable damage was already done to her organs. I often wonder if she may have hung in there for stem cell therapies if she were able to get more consistent care.

Sandra Saunders   March 16th, 2009 4:06 am ET

Thanks so much to Sanja Gupta for his discussions on healthcare.
Appreciated Bill Clinton information, etc.
Currently attempting to get new carrier for Part D Live in Central
Ca (93514) and limited on carriers. Any leads appreciated.

Thomas   March 16th, 2009 6:07 am ET

The debate over using embryonic stem cells in regards to the destruction of embryos has been rendered a moot point. Advanced Cell Technology announced last week that they could create stem cells without the destruction of the embryo.

BILL   March 16th, 2009 6:13 am ET

Dear Larry,
I watch your show all the time and always it is the best.
I enjoyed listening to President Bill Clinton.
He is such a natural politician and an excellent business man.
It is a shame that he getting older he deserves to win the Noble Prize for all the excellent work that he does while he can still enjoy it.
All through history the famous people gained recognition for all their work once they passed away into history. It would be the right time for President Bill Clinton to be recognized now while he is in good health and sound of mind. Nobody can predict the future and say what will happen in the future.
God Bless and have a nice day.
Bill Marton
Sydney, Australia.

Jay   March 16th, 2009 7:51 am ET

All respect to President Clinton, but the good doctor should have corrected the record about the embryos used for embryonic stem cell research. They aren't embryos if they aren't fertilized. And it doesn't take that high a pay grade to figure out that embryos can become little babies. Surely Clinton was being deliberately deceptive?

angie   March 16th, 2009 9:16 am ET

President Clinton's information on healthcare reform was the most succinct that I have ever heard. He made it clear and understandable to even those who are not knowledgeable about health care reform chronology. Great segment.

George Morris   March 16th, 2009 11:54 am ET

Mr. President Clinton America needs you as our advocate and the spokesperson for Primary Prevention. For America to ever spend a smaller percentage of its gross national product on healthcare, it must reduce the disease burden in our population through primary prevention.

The efforts toward universal coverage will not reduce the disease burden of this nation, unless we can use the "comparative effectiveness" funds in the stimulus to show that nutrition, natural products, and alternative therapies can reduce the disease burden on our economy. The money is there (over one billion) for the asking. Do not let all those funds go into identifying methods of disease management.

We need you as our advocate Mr President.
Thank you

Page Forth   March 16th, 2009 12:29 pm ET

The first thing anyone contemplating health care reform should do is read "The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones" by Michael E. Platt, MD. Dr. Platt has been practicing for over 35 years and has witnessed some true miracles simply by balancing his patients' hormones. The best part is that most of his patients originally go to him for weight loss – and, happily, end up losing much more.
The second thing to do is stop direct marketing by the pharmaceutical companies: Am I the only person in this country who thinks traces of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water is symptomatic of a much larger problem?
It was the pharmaceutical companies which got our health care system in the shambles it is today: they do ALL of the research from which is our physicians are trained. Consequently, our doctors only know how to prescribe medications which are primarily designed to cover up symptoms. No one is addressing the underlying diseases which are creating these symptoms and that is the number one reason we spend more on health care than any other industrialized nation yet remain one of the sickest.
The perfect case in point is depression: most physicians throw pills at the problem when, in fact, most depressions have a physical underlying cause for them and can be treated successfully without the use of mind altering, sometimes dangerous and always expensive, chemicals.
I have a condition called Adrenal fatigue. One of the many symptoms of this is depression but, interestingly, anti-depressants can actually aggravate the condition, especially over a 3 year period. Before you know it, your condition is worse, your about to lose your job and you can't pick your head up off the pillow to stop any of the damage. All because our doctors no longer know how to heal anything beyond infections (the ONLY drugs manufactured today which actually cure anything are antibiotics).
There is an answer to our health care crisis: it starts with retraining our health care providers, wrestling the pharmaceutical industry for control over our doctors' educations and coming to grips with the fact that there is no magic pill for what ails us – Americans need to learn how to be healthy and our health care providers need to learn what that means and how to achieve it.

fran   March 16th, 2009 1:55 pm ET

Hey Susan...Canada's Health care system is far from a mess...we have the very best of care from preganancy ,birth(all mothers get 1 year paid maternity leave), thru childhood and adulthood and into our senior years... our system pays homecare workers to go into homes and provide care to seniors so they can have optimal quality of life.,and the very best Long Term Care facilities...we walk into an emerg depart or Dr's office..get the best care and walk out and don't pay a dime out of our own pocket....hardly a mess Susan ...sounds like sour grapes to me my folks in the US just can't get your sh@t together!

Mary Anne   March 16th, 2009 2:22 pm ET

Mr King:
RE: a request

Can you possibly interview Arthur Blessitt on your show?
His story is very impressive and inspiring.

Cathy   March 16th, 2009 3:43 pm ET

Last night, Dr. Gupta praised the health care system in India as being the best in the world, having excellent medical benefits at a very reasonable cost. Unfortunately, he FAILED to mention the horrific caste system in India which prohibits any health care, education or any other aid for the Dalit's, also known as the "untouchables". In India, if the shadow of a Dalit falls upon an upper caste person, he or she believes they have been polluted by a Dalit. The Dalit's are the most persecuted people in India, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I am shocked by Dr. Gupta's misrepresentation of the conditions in India. Christian churches are the only organizations that are giving aid to these people, not the Indian government or their health care system. This is not a system that the United States should emulate!

Jane L.   March 16th, 2009 4:23 pm ET

Mr. King,
Why not have a show dedicated to information regarding single payer insurance? This would help educate the people about it and let us know the pros and cons. I am a supporter of HR676, but would like more information and I am sure the general public would be very interested in this topic as well.
Lastly, whether you like Michael Moore or not,if you are concerned at all about healthcare and insurance in our Country, you should all watch his documentary, "Sicko" . It presents an eye opening view on many of the problems facing healthcare in this Country.

Emmanuel   March 16th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Judge JUDY sorry but the riches took advantage of the Bush tax break for the wealthy , now i think it's fair for them to pay a litle more. No need to beg them for that as you aledgely suggest.

William   March 16th, 2009 10:41 pm ET

Regarding the mom with all the kids, it is sad that the kids will suffer unless she puts most of them up for adaption. Something that keeps coming up is the fact that the government is paying for this and there is great outrage. Not many are taking to task the fact that thousands of babies are born, at taxpayers expense, in this country from moms who are "visiting" from Mexico or illegal immigrants.

VELMA   March 17th, 2009 12:47 am ET


Jhanson   March 17th, 2009 3:25 am ET

My comment is on the payout to AIG.....I just don't understand why the government controls so much, yet so little.
How is it possible that the american public contributes via purchasing stocks and these corporate executives are flat out ripping off the stockholders.....legally. The government neds to step in and put a stop to it. No public held company should be allowed to have an executive make more than $500,000 per year and no bonuses unless the company is making money and the stockholders are making money. These big businesses are killing the small business owners. They have "play money". When I walk into a shopping mall and see a few customers in a superstore, I think.....they are loosing money? No way can they support this store, let alone the employees, etc. If you were a small company, you would be out of business. These big businesses need to run with the same rules!

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