August 19, 2009

Tonight on Larry King Live (LKL Wednesday Discussion Thread)

Posted: 04:18 PM ET

EXCLUSIVE! Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards, speaks out on health care reform for the first time. She's going head to head with former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. You won't want to miss this heated debate.

PLUS: Bill Cosby! Why is he joining forces with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell? He'll tell Larry about his new cause.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST:  The British government releases its records of UFO sightings. Were they misidentified aircraft or something more? That's right folks, it's going to be another one of those action-packed nights on Larry King Live!

Filed under: Health • Larry King Live • UFO

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Michael C. McHugh   August 19th, 2009 4:56 pm ET

About half of the public are as dumb as a box of rocks, who think the government is planning a Nazi-style euthanasia program against the elderly. Does it ever occur to these people to ask who is paying for all that propaganda and what their intentions are?

It's the Republicans who want to abolish Social Security and Medicare, but these people will never figure that out until it's too late.

Michael C. McHugh   August 19th, 2009 5:00 pm ET

And speaking of UFO reports, I have looked at many of the US government documents and reports on these–at least the stuff that has been declassified up to now. About 80% of them are conventional objects: meteorites, planets, stars, aircraft, balloons, secret government projects, hoaxes, or just saucer fever. I also know that there is a hard core of cases seen on radar and by very credible witnesses that have never been explained.

Joanne Osinkowski Ontario Canada   August 19th, 2009 5:12 pm ET

Elizabeth is a class act. Anything she has to say about H.C. Reform is worth listening to.

Manny Whitlock   August 19th, 2009 6:25 pm ET

Are you on Live during my central time Larry? LOL.. .I gotta see this one My Brother

Lukas Jack J.   August 19th, 2009 6:53 pm ET

The UFO/Alien cover-up must finally end. It is sad to see, after more than six decades of lies and secrecy, people who still question wheter we are alone in this universe. UFO's are real, eventhough most of the ones people see are human back-engineered craft from alien tech. Neverthless, there are dozens of extraterrestrial civilizations in space which have been visitng us ever since and which we have already made contact with, tens of them. Why doesn't the public officialy know and why there isn't a full disclosure? The answer is easy: If it happened, do you think we'd be still worrying about the amount of resources we have? Or how to take care of the poor? We would literally jump into Star Trek or even beyond – ordinary people aging 200, having hyperspace/wormhole technology commercial, every disease cureable, etc. It's not about the public not handling the contact, though some alien species do look a bit scary, it's about money and power. It's business and the world elites know it very well, that's why they will deny it all till the very end. The public has right to know. JFK and Milton William Cooper were the only ones by far with the guts to come out publicly and say the truth to wake people up and both payed a high price.

Elle Newman   August 19th, 2009 7:04 pm ET

Larry I'm enjoying your latest book so much. You are somthin' else!

Elle Newman   August 19th, 2009 7:05 pm ET

ditto re Elizabeth Edwards, a "class act"

LaDawn Montrell   August 19th, 2009 7:08 pm ET

It's amazing to me that the people who are against healthcare reform already have some type of healthcare plan. We all need each other in some kind of way. Whether it's the streetsweeper, the cook at your favorite eatery, the cleaning lady, the childcare provider, the butcher, etc., we all need each other. Wouldn't be great if everyone was at their best and getting the medical attention they need to maintain on a daily basis. I've heard people say... "I don't want to pay for the healthcare of someone who eats cheeseburgers on a daily basis", to that person I say "it's easier to pay 99 cents for a cheeseburger than it is to have a salad", especially when you're struggling to make ends meet in this economy today. So where do we begin? Food is injected with who knows what, cloned meat is being sold in grocery stores, but we blame the people who simply cannot afford the cost of eating healthy or think they're eating healthy with chemically cured foods and you want to deny your own American people the right to free health care. Come on people. If we were all on the same playing field and no one had healthcare.... would this be such an issue?

David Kaas   August 19th, 2009 8:35 pm ET

Dear Larry King. Have you taken the time to access the "" and first go to: A New Cure for Cancer (view) Then go to: A New Cure for Cancer and everything else. This fall (in just a few weeks) the on-line company "" is hosting my latest finds in a book entitled: FARM PHYSICS. I have attempted to communicate the presence of these 2 videos last year to you Larry. If you like I will send you a copy of this newest release. Please call me at 310-578-1724. This is cutting edge material and I would like to make it available to all. Thank you for your time and your reconsiderations in this timely matter.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

I thought Obama was for the Unions, oops we`ve been duped! As far as health care, if the economy wasnt so crappy and people hadnt had their jobs shipped overseas we wouldnt even be talking about this. I say just raise taxes on the rich to pay for Medicaide for the uninsured till the economy comes back and the rich can have their taxes lowered as they make more jobs. Then we need to regulate insurance companies just like big oil and the drug companies! If we did these things we wouldnt need all this drama and bickering! Obama needs to start sticking up for the middle guy liked he pledged to do!

RJ   August 19th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

The people who shipped our jobs overseas are the ones to blame for this mess. They had to realize that too many were doing it and at some point there was to be a breaking point between tax dollars coming into the government and services going out. You cant eliminate milllions of jobs in one place to another and have no adverse effect. Our goverment and big business is to blame and now that big business has been bailed out they can start chipping in and take the load off the backs of what working middle class is left!

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

@ RJ That is what happens when Corporate America owns the USA

Bridgie Ramkissoon   August 19th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

What about malpractice and defensive medicine...What about lawyers jumping on teh band wagon just to sue lawyers to become rich??

John Milner   August 19th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

Why is the wife of a man who built his fortune on medical malpractice lawsuits so quite on tort reform?
Why is everyone in politics so quiet on this?

john   August 19th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

You don't like the public option which would be run by government, but do you like medicare?

that's run by the government , what about that?

atlav8r   August 19th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

What Mrs Edwards is missing with the public option is that employers will drop their coverage and tell their employees to go for the public option.
As an Employer this is what I would do and I would welcome the opportunity to pay the fee for not insuring my employees. This will only result in lower quality health care service for all.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Tommy Tompson... you must own a lot of stock in health care insurance companies!!!




Let the Federal Government put all the people on Medicare, and let
the insurance companies provide the supplement plan like they do for retires.
We don’t need to put money down a rat hole by subsidizing insurance companies.
Medicare did not socialize medicine. People still choose their own doctor. Private
companies still run the hospitals. Private insurance companies sell the supplement
insurance. This is Mixturism. Business and Government working together to provide
health insurance for senior citizens. It is the right way to cover all people in America.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

Go Elizabeth Edwards!!! you have the facts!

Bridgie Ramkissoon   August 19th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

How to fix health care in USA and make if affordable?- the answer is very easy but they won't do it: control of cost of health insurance; get rid of the malpractice lawyers and control the pharmaceutical companies.....these are the 3 ...major factors contibuting to the high cost of health care. Please politicians and lawyers and lobbyists wake up and see the facts and address it.Read More

atlav8r   August 19th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

Tort reform is the answer not a public government run disaster.

Frank   August 19th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I wonder if Elizabeth Edwards would want John Edwards' new love child insured by the Obama plan?

L. Clark   August 19th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

The Federal Government cannot even run the Cash For Clunkers program and get the much needed money to car dealers.....and that anyone wants them to run the massive health care program is ridiculous and, I believe, shows a great mental defect.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

There is a difference between government and profit! Example: We had the DUI sb38 program run by the county and it did not cost 1/10 as much as it costs now run by a ((( for profit ))) agency!

The insurance agencies are scared.... they are spending millions of dollars to brain wash us... and that will end up coming out of our pocket too.

vicky   August 19th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Obama’s healthcare reform not in trouble , Republicans and fox are the trouble makers

Nelson   August 19th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Holla Mrs.. Edwards

Hey that Sen. guy.

I don't like it when insurance companies are making a "profit" on my health. What about human rights? health is a human right. I don't buy you're argument.....I want universal healthcare.. not a sugar coated version of a failed system.

Kerry Fowler   August 19th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

I wonder how many lobbiest are employeed by the healthcare insurance companies, and how many people could be covered with insurance with the monies paid to them?

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Absolutely correct just like Germany was in the 1930`s, while I`m not comparing us to Nazis I am comparing the similairities to how big business runs our respective governments and that should be a real scary thing to all Americans!

Rnn   August 19th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

This country has over 50 million uninsured/underinsured. The previous government would have thought about it. They did not care; instead they waged a useless war and wasted trillion of dollars. What a shame !. Created unemployments and made people poorer.

angela   August 19th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

maybe "grandma" shouldnt want to be plugged in to begin with...

Pete   August 19th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

#1) Almost 85% of unpaid medical bills are paid by the federal and state goverment. They pay the maximum price for service. Second, we have medicare and medicaid. We already have a dysfunctional ineffecient public option. The mom who is uninsured and does not qualify for medicaid, delays care for a asthmatic childs who has a cold and ends up being admitted to the hospital. The time is now and Republicans need to offer options not just opposition.

#2) What about the military health system? Goverment run and used by congress. It is an excellent system focused on prevention.

As an active duty physcian I take great offense about saying what a bad job the goverment does with healthcare.

Jim   August 19th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

Some things were not hearing from either panelist tonight. Tort reform and the consumer not paying for the full cost of care. Health insurance should be available for catastrophic issues. When consumers can abuse their health and pay very little of the cost for care there is a problem with the system. Everyone wants something for nothing. We should be discussing private, high-deductible plans with tax breaks for Health Savings Plans. You could then provide insurance to the un-insured by subsidizing their HSA accounts.

Bob   August 19th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

I really don't believe in our great country people should be "uninsured" although I wonder about the options we could try first. For all the people who are saying the goverment/state says I make to much money to be on medicaid/medicare.......the goverment runs that program why dont they raise the amount a person should make to qualify first. Try that before we overhaul a whole system.....we cant even pay the cash for clunkers program to the dealers and some states are now stoping it for money. How long will hospitals and doctors go w/out getting paid before that turns into a disaster? Maybe if the congress and senate are so proud of it they should voluntarily go on it first for a year w/out paying to see "better or faster" providers for their kids or wifes before telling me how great it will be. I wonder if I get to go to Walter Reed Hospital for a physical, and Im in the Army. I believe in "Leading by Example". I wonder if they do?

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

((( For Profit ))) big business (ie, health care insurance companies) have NO business dealing with the sick and dying!

John Milner   August 19th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Senator Edwards (her husband) made MILLIONS off of frivolous lawsuits which have added to the stress on the costs of the medical system. Look into the number of C-sections performed in America after his 1985 case where he convinced a jury the a doctor's negligence was responsible for a child's Cerebral Palsy. He filed an additional 20 such lawsuits in the following decade. How do you think he paid for his presidential run? These sort of actions have put unnecessary tests and actions that cost us all. Tort reform MUST be discussed and MUST be included in any reforms. Problem is that LAWYERS are creating these reforms – probably why this is not being discussed.

Sandra   August 19th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Elizabeth Edwards should be in charge of health care reform.

angela   August 19th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Take care of your body and stop expecting your longevity to come from modern science, if you are that scared to die, you have seriously neglected your spiritual growth. its pitiful how scared people are to simply pass way, its frickin natural, read your history books, people die!

Janice Davis   August 19th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Tommy Thompson must not know much about costs for people who have to pay their own insurance. A person just asked him if he thought it was fair that his insurance went up from $500 to $2500 in 5 years. Tommy Thompson said he would have to know if he switched companies, what kind of insurance he had, etc. I have insurance through my husband's employer and we do not suffer the way the gentlemen who asked the question does. I know from experiences with relatives and friends that going from $500 to $2500 means that his plan probably went down in benefits and if he changed insurance companies it was probably due to trying to keep his costs down for the same or lesser insurance benefits. This is how badly costs are going up for a lot of people.

Jeri   August 19th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Why do we need health insurance companies? They take our money and they deny coverage. Why aren't health insurance companies illegal?

Tom Tyschper (Phoenix, AZ)   August 19th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Pres. Obama continues to have a credibility problem. He seems to be "flip-flopping" on his support of a "public plan." Voters don't know where he stands? To problem ios further compounded when you look at somne of those he gets advice from. Mr. Ezekiel Emanuel is a health policy advisor. In 2008, he advocated health care only for those who can fully participate in society. Science czar, John Holdren, has published his support of taking babies from single mothers, and seems to favor forced abortions. Most would view these as radical views. They can easily lead one to be quite concerned about health care "rationing." Until the voters are convinced where Pres.Obama really stands, he will have much difficulty gaining support.

Tom Tyschper
(Phoenix, AZ)

Jonie   August 19th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

This national heathcare reform, call it what it is, whatever time of the day it may be, Obama and his administration choose to call it, should not be pushed through and rammed down our throats just because Obama wants a bill passed, or will settle for any bill that is passed.

Cover those who truly need it. Congress and the POTUS should take time, as much time is needed before they get us into a financial mess we will never be able to get out of.

After the 20 somethings who choose not to purchase insurance, the over 75,000.00 who forever reason choose not to buy insurance and the illegal immigrants who are here illegally and should not be included, how many people are you talking about 5 million.

Obama seems to want to turn this into a handout, welfare nation, this nation was built on hard work and determination. Since he has been in office how many things were rushed through without any effect. Look and explore all options before we are on a road we cannot turn back from.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Bring jobs back, get out of the middle east and quit bailing everyone out but the working middle class guy and wouldnt need health care reform! Scap everything out there and regulate the insurance and drug companies! Simple! Problem is is everyone of our leaders in DC are in the pockets of these interest, vote these people out and make all of our leaders accountable!

CHM   August 19th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Dodie– "corporate American owns the USA." Could you depict for me a picture of just what the country would look like without corporations. Would we just barter for everything; but then who would make the everything. Corporate America is the backbone of the country. It is not perfect as is no one; no non-corporate business is perfect either. Sweeping negative statements about corporate America seems more like a soundbite.

Debbie   August 19th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

I find it ironic that Elizabeth Edwards does not address Tort Reform in her comments on health care reform, given that is where the Edwards wealth comes from in pursing malpractice lawsuits.

Di Findley   August 19th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Go Elizabeth! A public option is a must. About 25% of the Certified Nurse Aides, Home Care Aides and other direct care workers who provide most of the care and support to older and disabled Americans don't have access to care themselves.

larry kellerman   August 19th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

One of the major issues the health care debate has brought up is the notion of insurance companies not providing insurance, or removing from coverage, people with pre-existing conditions. That happened to my wife and I. Why can't or won't insurance companies change that practice without government intervention? Is the profit motive the primary reason? If so, how will any health care reform without a public option change that?

Kaye Perrier   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Why is is that neither party has come out with the main reason Medicare and Social Security is running out of $ is that administrations since LBJ have robbed the fund, or is this misinformation?

And yes, Elizabeth is more than a class act!

Kaye Perrier

kat   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Health Care should be like Public Education free to all Americans. So we pay more totally, as in the case of Education where people without children still pay for public Education- people whose children are grown still pay for Education- Health care falls within the same area.We all pay for roads and EMS care, which we may never need, or roads we may never drive on.
No matter what rich people say, they too someday may need it.
There should be no debate about it. Rich businesses don't want the competition so Americans have to suffer with broken bones and infections so rich businesses can keep fat bank accounts.

bob sandler   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Nobody mentions out of control malpractice claims. Elizabeth sits there with that smug look knowing she is worth over $100 million as a result of her husband being a plaintiff dare her talk about insurance company's compensation when she has a net worth of more than $100 million for a few years of work....another dem with no shame.

Jillonne K, Largo, Florida   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

This is the problem with Tommy Thompson. When he was governor of Wisconsin, he chose the two highest populated counties in Wisconsin for a welfare reform experiment. These two counties had the lowest unemployment rate and the most economically stable rate in the entire state. And he showcased this as his idea of his successful welfare reform when he really didn't have to do anything at all. And now he favors what all of the Republicans favor. I am so tired of the right-wing rhetoric and the lies they are spreading! I say to them be done with it!

Rich   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

The "partisans" on the healthcare debate are ridiculous. We are the wealthiest nation on the planet and all Americans should have health care.

We can pay for it by "taxing" unnecessary procedures such as breast implant, face lifts, liposuction, and botox treatments and use that money to pay for necessary treatments like child immunizations.

Joan Rivers could pay to immunize a small West Virginian town for cripes

will   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Thompson is being as dishonest as all pols who want to do nothing. SS is going broke because the surplus has been used for other than paying retirees.

I just returned from seven years in Australia. They have a public health system (medicare) that covers all citizens. Medicare coexists with private insurers who have not been put out of business. The private insurance supplements Medicare and cost a fraction of what it would cost in the States. If all of the other countries can have public health care with lower cost than the US with their people living longer, why can't we do it?


sherry deutschman   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

I cant listen to Tommyt Thompson anymore he"s disgusting and he must be in the pocket of the insurance companies. Dont people see that its so simple- people have no access to healthcare. I dont smoke I exercise and there is nothing wrong with my and my premiums were doubled in one year until finally I could no longer afford to pay the premiums – and now I have nothing and cant go to the doctor and have preventive care. Americans are not upset about this they want it. If they can bail out GM they can certainly help the average person they just dont want to. The fact of the matter is that if you are sick in America you only have a chance of living if you are rich – its elitist and morally repugnant. Stop saying the American people dont want it- I bet people woll soon find out that these protesters have been hired by the health insurance companies- to go to these rallies- believe me there will be an expose.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

RJ: I totally agree with your idea of big business. This is where Capitalism meets obliteration!

Toni from OK   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

You would think that if Republicans wanted to totally mischaracterize a health care provision and demagogue it like nobody's business, they would at least pick something that the vast majority of them hadn't already voted for just a few years earlier. Because that's not just shameless, it's stupid.

So either Republicans were for death panels in 2003 before turning against them now–or they're lying about end-of-life counseling in order to frighten the bejeezus out of their fellow citizens and defeat health reform by any means necessary. Which is it, yes in 2003)?

I think the right extreme wing is inciting people and lying in order to try and stop it. They are too close to the insurance companies and have been paid millions to stop it.

I think it is a shame and this wil come back and huant the Republicans. I am hearing what the Republican is saying and I retired from insurance, this won't give it any competition. If you have pre-existing conditions, you cannot get health care. The Republicans are hurting our country.

Annette   August 19th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

in all of the comments to reform the health insurance companies – no one has said about salary caps for these CEOs – isn't 12 Billion for one CEO a little ridiculous especially now!

They really do think the American people are stupid!

Lori   August 19th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

This idea of "Wellness" healthcare is a joke....where do they come up with that. So the guidelines for even having health insureance will be a governenment mandated "wellness" program or no coverage? If you don' t follow a program than no coverage?What about genetics and disease?If you are genetically predispositioned for certain diseases, and there a million, then no health coverage?People I would be more worried about this ridiculus notion than pulling the plug on grandma.

Nelson   August 19th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

oh my bad that guy I was addressing is an ex- gov...

Still do not buy his argument...this is long now!

we are the only industrialized country without universal healthcare

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

@ Tommy Thompson must be making millions from health care insurance companies! Or he is completely brain washed

jolyne arbeitman   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

why is nobody talking about the real root of the health care problem. The cost of the product is out of control. When a blood test costs $800.00 and an MRI is over $1000.00, something's wrong.How many times does that MRI machine have to be paid for? Another thing is regarding hospital's non-profit status. Why can't the profit's be used for patient care instead of capital improvements. I'd like to see someone address this.

Lynn C.   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

That no comment can be made on the question of an increase on health insurance from 500/mth to 2,500/mth would be "reasonalbe" unconscienable.

How many people actually even make anywhere close to 2500/month??!!

Rave Rice   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

We can not run healthcare like retail. Severely regulate Insurance and enact Tort Reform. Tax unhealthy foods and lifestyles. NO GOVERNMENT RUN CARE. IT WILL BANKRUPT US AND LEAD TO RATIONING, IT IS INEVITABLE

Kristin   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Elizabeth gets it. Tommy has the government insurance plan, changes will not affect him.

Bill Macfarlane   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Tommy is lost in space

angela   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

you cant blame her for his actions, i agree about your points on him...john Miller but two wrongs do not make a right. i hope the H1N1 sweeps through our country and then everyone will finally shut up and get to business.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Sadly Joe the Plumber was right on the money and was made to look like a fool, Joe if your out there you hit the nail on the head and I have to tip my hat to you sir! No more free giveaways! Some people cant work and thats the way it is but most can, make these people do something for these free handouts!

Valerie   August 19th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

Mr. Thompson you keep talking about bipartisaism, excuse me but for the last 20 years I've not seen any party agree on anything. So why start now. Washington (elected officials) all get free health care. Ask them to give up their coverage. If I has the same benefits they have I be a very happy person. To many times I see articles about Americans losing their jobs, which means they lose their insurance coverage. Cost keep rising,coverage decreases. Where are we to go? Our elected politicians just don't care about Americans all it seems that they're about is the almighty dollar. Stop being greedy and start representing the American people. I'm also sick of everybody singling out smokers for the high cost of insurance. What about the drunks that are killing their livers and others lives. Let's start attacking them. Charge them more for insurance coverage. Start working for us, not the insurance companies and big business.


Author James M. Carroll's new book, "Born Out of the Sun" tells us where these aliens really come from.more...

angela   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

He has got some nerve, boy!

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

OMG stage 4! my heart goes out to you!!! Congrats to you!!! I, too, am a survivor

CHM   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

RICH-a little gender oriented there I'd say. Let's tax Viagra as well!

Jillonne K, Largo, Florida   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

If there is a non-profit cooperative instead of a public option, a tax credit is not going to pay for their premiums, Tommy, wake up will you?!!!! We need a public option so that the United States can help those uninsureds who cannot afford insurance subsidies to help them obtain it. EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. I just hope that my twin sister will be able to say that she will be able to health care herself SOON.

Toni from OK   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Joe the Plumber was not correct and had ties to McCain- it was a set up. He was a nephew of the Keating Five that McCain was involved in.

Sandra   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

God bless you Elizabeth Edwards.

Rnn   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Tomy, what did republicans do for all these dayss what did you do? talk some realistic things. Bush Govt. waged a war and made this country to go to hell. They are good for that. They are not good to solve American problems.

Bill Macfarlane   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Tommy is lost in space. He is only paroting the Republican opinion and what the _____ is he on this show for anyhow. Did you have no other members available??

carolyn-AustinTX   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

Tommy.. you are totally ignoring the issue of what a decent insurance policy costs!

Trina   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

It amazes me how Republicans did not question how much money was going to be spent and the amount of lives that were going to be lost to fight a war for another country, in another country but are raising hell about providing health care for people who do not have any in their own country. This does not make me proud of my country. Wake up people, before it is too late. Just because you have health care today, does not ensure you will have it tomorrow. You will reap what you sow!

Ludlow Cratzworthy   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

It is my understanding that many of the proposals contemplate that all Americans must be covered by a health insurance plan. Without a "public option" insurance companies and hospitals will receive a windfall of new business (i.e., premiums, procedures, fees for service) that will in all likelihood allow them to raise their premiums and charges at will. Costs for the American public could go up even faster.

Michael kelso   August 19th, 2009 9:28 pm ET

One of the biggest struggles I have experienced is seeing my patients stop taking their medications because they can no longer afford it. Both the insured and uninsured. Its disheartening and inhumane. I wish more physicians would weigh in on this issue. – unc medical student

Rhonda OsborneRN   August 19th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

WE have to do something in health care. I see patients daily that does not have the $15.00 fee-we class them on ability to pay. Some have to choose between food vs medicine-if they can't buy medicine they keep getting sicker and sicker. Talk about a death panel-they dye due to the fact that they can't always get meds even in some free programs. Is that what America needs or wants? Poor people dying so we don't have to care for them.lets get real.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Obama said volunteer for your country, due something for your country, well I dont see a lot of people doing anything but taking advantage and laughing at us tax payers! I`ve heard it first hand, makes me sick!

john   August 19th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Why wouldn't ANYONE want health care for EVERYONE?

Thats crazy! Everyone one needs health care!
America rush's to other country's by helping them out , its time they help their own citizens out! Give us a public option!

Billy Traurig   August 19th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Tommy Thompson has no clue. A tax credit doesn't help those who don't earn enough to take advantage of it.

Barbara Burton   August 19th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

It seems many people in the US who are at least moderately content with their health care coverage are afraid of the idea of Government involvement in assuring adequate coverage for the rest of the population who have not been able to provide for themselves. More give and less take would seem to be needed, but wont be easy to achieve in a society where many seem inclined to look after themselves with no thought of the welfare of others less able to do the same. A government option for those might help moderate costs of the private plans. As a Canadian with Government providing coverage of basic health care costs by means of revenue from sales taxes, I can assire you that no one in Canada goes bankrupt because of health care costs. Ask any American who has moved here.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Make the prisoners in prison do "Hard Labor"

Woody Hogg   August 19th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Elizabeth Edwards is not telling us how her husband made millions and millions off of sueing health care companies. Seems to be a real conflict of interest!

BR   August 19th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

What about malpractice and defensive medicine…What about lawyers jumping on the band wagon just to sue doctors to become rich??
And the poor doctors doing every test to avoid being sued?

Ann   August 19th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

Larry your last question for Elizabeth Edwards was down right mean. The discussion was health care reform and you ruined it.

Pete   August 19th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

A hybrid system can be accomplished. Enough fear mongering. Get down to making solutions. The questions is who stands to lose? Pharma, hospitals, and insurers some medicla specialist. The health system will break and it only gets more expensive to fix.

LB   August 19th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

I wonder if the National Enquirer is right about Edwards moving his lover and their love child into his neighborhood. If that is true he is a real scumbag.

I respect Ms. Edwards' opinion on health care, but I don't like the fact that she hid her husband's indiscretions from the American people when he was running for the presidency.

Sandra Lupton   August 19th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

Your comment to Elizabeth Edwards "your stage 4, right"? (referring to her cancer) is about the most tactless comment I have heard from you. Shame on you!!

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

Many administrations are responsible for this mess but give credit where credit is due, Ronnie Reagan was the man who opened the floodgates and people must not forget that. Every President since has little to nothing to stop this train wreck!

Kevin Hicks   August 19th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

Why is it that the cost of healthcare never enters into any of these discussions? Isn't it possible Americans are paying far too much for drugs and treatments? No one ever questions the extrordinary costs billed by physicians and hospitals. The discussion always seems to just be about who is going to pay the bill. How about pruning the healthcare industry's money tree?

Kathie McCarthy   August 19th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

For E. Edwards....Did your husband not make millions of $$$'s suing Doctors and Insurance companies....What about Tort Reform to help bring down the costs? Two-faced?

Rich   August 19th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

Whatever @CHM......OK....I'll throw in "rogaine" treatments for balding me But that's the way it's got to be.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

@ RJ I feel the same way and I see it every day at work since I work for the local government working with helping prisoners and illegals...all on tax payers money.

Mark   August 19th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

How can someone with a minimum wage job, or alittle above, pay for Health insurance? $15,900. less taxes about $994.00 a month, afford health insurance, if the employeer does not provide it. Rent, $300.00, gas 75.00 or abit more depending on driving distance to work, $150.00 food, utilities $150.00. Thats $310.00 a month for medical expenses (including insurance.) Who and where, I'll sign up tommorrow! We have to have a government option just so I can get insurance, there is no for profit company that will provide affordability for me. And a refundabel tax credit, great, but how do I pay for it NOW.

CHM   August 19th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

Barbara Burton-what is the tax rate in Canada?

steve irwin   August 19th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

wow..i'm not prone to quote barney frank but "what planet" has tommy thompson been on.....if a person/family is living meal to meal or less...what the heck good is a tax credit gonna do them...the insurance companies want cash....furthermore does anybody remember what big business did the last market...decimated...can you say AIG....ENRON...give me obama care

Janet Balzer   August 19th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

I can not believe that you would ask that question of Elizabeth Edwards (about her lying, cheating husband), after she gave such an informative, intellegent accounting of the problems of health care today. I WILL NEVER WATCH YOU AGAIN!.

Rebecca Lowry   August 19th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

It's ironic and credility questioning that Elizabeth Edwards is speaking out on health care reform when she and her husband reaped significant financial rewards vis a vis large legalsettlements and insurance co. payouts from medical wrongful death suits and other medical wrongdoings. The Edwards and other lawyers focused on suing physicians are part of the problem driving up healthcare costs, NOT the solution. Ironic that she is the voice of healthcare reform while contributing to its problems.

Shirley   August 19th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

My mother had Medicare and a supplemental insurance policy thru Medigap. The list of insurance providers with costs were provided by Medicare and I believe it was Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a non-profit, that was selected for the supplemental. It was reasonable.
Everyone in this country should be entitled to health insurance. We should be treating the cause not just the symptom. I think the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies want to keep us sick for profit. Don't these representatives elected realize that Social Security is all most have, Medicare is all they have and even thinking about not providing this to the American people is ridiculous. We would have so many homeless and sick people on the streets.

Julie   August 19th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

1. I hear Republicans say that they're for health care reform, just not in this manner. They used scare tactics in Clinton's administration and are using the same tactics today. If you're for reform, then why wasn't any progress made in the G.W. Bush years when republicans were in power?

2. How can Tommy, a Republican, say that he's promoting wellness and innovative techniques of health care when the party platform is against stem cell research?

George Bynum   August 19th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Mr Thompson feels that competitive bidding will reduce insurance costs from (Mrs Edwards number) 18,000 to (his number) 5,000. Many, if not most medium and large employers are "self insured" paying the "insurance companies" only to administer and process claims. How can he correlate that fact? I promise you that BCBS as administrator isn't getting 3 times what the providers get.

Jerry Greene   August 19th, 2009 9:35 pm ET


Ask Mrs. Edwards if her husband is part of the health care problem.

He MILLIONS & MILLIONS litgating mal-practice claims. Some with outrageous settlements and some cases that should of not been litigated to begin with.

They live in a 30,000 sq ft. mansion and she talks about the poor people who need coverage. Have her pay for the care they need

How hypocritical. Does she favor Tort reform as part of a health care
reform package??

Is she going to use the Govt. run health care plan?

Jerry Greene
Sagamore Hills Ohio

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

@ Barbara Burton

I would love to hear more about it. I plan to retire in Sidney BC. I do not want to dump on the Canadian government. I have medical insurance. Would that work there?

Janet   August 19th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

The photo of Obama-made to look like Hitler was gross-(NOT ACCEPTABLE).

Derek Knowles   August 19th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Thanls Larry Liz is such a trooper for theAmerican citizens.

Something is always better than nothings if your one of the Millions without.
Larry u know

Good work liz we are a Nation that claims to be Christian but
worry if our poor brothers and sisters get care will that hurt me some how,

Please forgive us

Love derek

Mike   August 19th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Seems to be a little less than appropriate to me to say to Elizabeth, "how are you feeling?" she says fine, and Larry had the nerve to say Stage 4 Cancer right? Ridiculous. He should have showed more compassion in my opinion and offered her words of support.

Rnn   August 19th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Wait and see – where these republicans are going to take this country if they donot cooperate now. I am afraid this country will become the poorest. Selfishness is the cause for everything. Help and prosper.

Michael Calabrese   August 19th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

BRAVO Elizabeth Edwards on Health Care, the Public Option & the LIES coming from the Republican Right (as usual i.e. Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Stock Market, Mortgages & DEREGULATION everywhere and anywhere that THEY can MAKE MONEY)!!!!!

Bruce Alexander   August 19th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Stick to Jackson fluff and sadly its, NOW, what you do best. Jesus Wept, I'd wish to say more, but your just an old fool.

Michael Hartsfield   August 19th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Regarding opposition to the health care reform initiative: So far I do not hear anyone critizicing the huge debt that has been run up in our military escalation overseas. How do you rationalize for a wasteful war-debt and yet speak out about potential health-care debt.....? and let's address the lobbying aspect - Do you not think there are ulterior motives at work here....? So far the insurance lobby is succeeding in creating lots of fear among the public. Remember that Medicine is big business in this country, and there are many layers of profit with vested interests that want to be protected.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

While I sympathize with people with no health care, been there many times but I cant remember at anytime ever thinking that health care should be a free benefit even when I was too proud to accept social health services! Its never been at any time in history a guaranteed right to free health care! Obama promised to raise taxes on the very people who got us into this mess but so far he hasnt! Bring back jobs and make big money earn their big money by bringing jobs back here!

janice   August 19th, 2009 9:39 pm ET


Shame on you....when you ask Elizabeth Edwards to debate public versus private healthcare, why at the end of the segment do you feel it's your right to pry into her personal life and ask questions about the paternity of child that has been linked to a very public indiscretion by her husband? I don't the questions relate to her topic and the reason she agreed to appear.

Cheap shot under the guise of journalistic entitlement

CHM   August 19th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Why is everyone making this a battle between the Dems and Repubs again. The polls suggest approximately half of America is against a public option. Only 22% of America are Democrats. Doesn't add.

carolyn-AustinTX   August 19th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

@RJ YOU are right on! Our most horrid problem is we elect people who then go merrily on their way of being re-elected. They have their "special" friends they listen to ... the ones with money. If we could ever get a handle on how contributions are made to campaign funds that would put an end to this.

Better yet, in this technological age, why can't we put more things to a popular vote. If banks and credit card companies can manage people not duplicating logins to an account.. and we each have a voter ID card with a number.. and we each have a SS#.. why can't we each vote? A vote could be collected over a period of time (such as states that have early voting options) that would let people without computers go to places to log in and vote.

That could also make more jobs available.. supporting Internet voting or more popular voting. That would put an end to special interests buying votes from our legislators. We still need them to hammer out wording of bills and modifications to laws.. but OUR vote should count.

Leslie Jack   August 19th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Why cannot the monetary aspect of Health Reform be solved in this way?

Regarding the ongoing Health Care Debate, everything can be accomplished with adequate money and thinking people and something can be accomplished with some money and thinking people. In the present health care debate why can't the U. S. government come out with their own health care plan for the uninsured or underinsured; they could do this in the following manner using the duplications and wasted money that is presently in the Health Care Delivery System. Just to prove to the doubters out there that they can deliver this in an responsibly fiscal manner they even could use less resources than private health users, as much as 25%. For example, if 1/6 or 16% of U.S citizens have no or inadequate health care or benefits then put 16% of the total health care delivery program into the government health care plan; and just to show that it will not exceed that part of the budget even take a further decrease from that absolute 16% that logically could go towards the government plan. That is, take up to a further 5% to 25% from this amount which would then only leave 0.25 x 16%; this would bring the total public commitment down to as low as 12% of the present health care delivery budget and use only that amount for the government health care budget.

Judy   August 19th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

I was very disappointed in Larry King tonight. Elizabeth Edwards and Tommy Thompson had just finished their discussion on health care reform and Larry comes out of nowhere with a question to Elizabeth about her husband, his possible paternity and her terminal stage 4 cancer. This was totally inappropriate and out of the scope of this particular show. The topic was health care not the latest on her husband and family. It was a low blow to throw this in at the end of this totally unrelated topic of the day. Larry King is pretty low brow to begin with in my opinion but this was out of line.

D.B.Hebert   August 19th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

my health insurance monthly premiums for just myself (wth pre-existing conditions not covered) jumped to $589 per month and had to raise my deductibles to $1,000.
Presently the insurance industry has free reign to raise rates at their whim an the general pblic is at their mercy... that insurance industry must be STOPPED. one more increase an i'll be priced out of the market and will be a ware of the state lke so many others.

kris   August 19th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

I just caught the tail of the interview of Elizabeth Edwards and former Gov. Thompson. I was really disgusted by the questions about her husbands affair and her cancer. The questions were asked in a way that suggested no caring and only ratings. It was a classless moment and will keep me from watching for quite sometime. Sloppy and classless.

R Wood, MD   August 19th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

What is Tommy Thompson smoking? He's saying that innovation in healthcare comes from private health insurance companies??? They go to great lengths to deny payment for anything they can characterize as "investigational" – they do not support research, or new therapies. They have only two purposes – collection of premiums and denial of benefits.

Michael Carey   August 19th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Ms. Edwards showed a tremendous amout of knowledge speaking about health care in the USA. It's too bad Larry couldn't agree with her. I know that is not his JOB, but it should be someone's on CNN. Done with CNN, it is only MSNBC for me...and has been for quite awhile.

The debate over health care in the US is out of control. Only wish CNN would report ever hour on what the two wars are costing on a daily or weekly basis. The average (American) would be shocked. But of course you won't. Would pay for the cost of health care.

How are we safer? Health care and a more robust economy here or billions a week bombing some remote country that has nothing to do with national security? (I am not including all national security, but most related to current threat.)

Best regards,

Michael Carey
Antioch, CA (San Francisco suburb)

Alice   August 19th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

The show was great until Larry asked inappropriate personal questions to Elizabeth Edwards. She was a gracious guest and he was completely out of line at the end of the interview.

roseann vitassa   August 19th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Maybe Tommy Thompson would like to comment on my story- diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, bilateral mastectomy, high dose chemo for 8 months, lost my job, cobra ran out and I spent 6 years with no health insurance – turned down by every company out there, 5 years free included tamoxofin meds as continuing treatment. Two companies refused me including Blue Cross Blue Shield because a doctor had once written a prescription for an antidepressant which I never filled.
It took nearly 7 years before my own company could afford group insurance and include me . Therefore, I did not see a doctor for checkups for over 5 years.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

All Obama is doing so far is spinning his wheels, putting on a good show but in reality is doing very little to bring jobs back. Without the milllions of people back on the tax roles the rich should have no choice but to shoulder more of the burden after all they are in part responsible for this mess. Quit robbing Peter to pay Paul, it aint going to work!

TE from OK   August 19th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

What a shame. Fear is the opium of the American masses, it seems. Thanks largely to the disingenuous fear-mongering of the likes of Rush, Hannity and their corporate cohorts' desperate advertising, we've got ourselves a case of pulling the wool over the eyes of millions of susceptible Americans. Never mind that the vast majority of their claims are blatant lies, from forced euthanasia to rationing to amnesia about whether or not the widely popular Medicare program is actually a government program.

The health insurance guns know that a public option would ultimately be more cost-effective both for the economy and the consumer, and they know it would be bad for million-making business because it would force them to revamp their ridiculous, exploitive bottom-lines, so they fight hard, and they fight dirty, and as usual, Americans fall for it.

People should stop and ask themselves, What do I have to lose from lower premiums, less service denials for pre-existing conditions, more widespread healthcare covering resulting in less burden for the economy overall, and what do I have to gain from siding with Big Business who could care diddly squat about how I have to revamp my life and settle my bankruptcies to pay for my healthcare?

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:43 pm ET


yes, their tax is higher but at least they do NOT lose their home if they become sick.

Jerry Greene   August 19th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

What makes Elizabeth Edwards an expert about Health Care?

What are her credentials to be dealing about a serious subject as Health Care?

Does not make sense to me.

Jerry Greene

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

@ RJ

I have seen Hillary work on health care and then it was squashed. I am very sure it is very UGLY in Washington DC, in areas we will never learn. It is probably why Obama wants to ram it through. I do not like that idea, but given special interests, who knows what is going on in DC

Jillonne K, Largo, Florida   August 19th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

My twin had Stage 2 breast cancer in 2002. Thankfully for now she is still in remission. However, at the time she did not have access to affordable health insurance nor was she able to obtain health insurance such as Medicaid or any other type of coverage. And since her diagnosis, she is still unable to obtain health care coverage because of the cancer she had and also she still cannot get Medicaid or any other coverage. I am tired of seeing her suffer and not able to do the things that she needs to be able to do to monitor her medical conditions whether they are genetic or not, and for the record, most of them are genetic. I even have a 3 in 11 chance of getting breast cancer but at least I have SOME coverage right now. It's TIME FOR A PUBLIC OPTION NOW!

Sandy   August 19th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Great job Elizabeth! Thank you so much for speaking up for Health Care reform. You have so much in your personal life to deal with and here you are helping others. I very much admire you and you did an excellent job debating. Maybe you should run for a political office!

Liana Haughton, Canada   August 19th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

hI: just a short note to say that Mrs. Edwards is a lovely,uplifting women that I admire. She holds her head up high and deserves our prayers and good wishes for the future.

John Wilson   August 19th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Elizabeth Edward made a good point about healthcare. Giving tax credits to low income people will not pay for insurance. There are tax credits for educatio nand other things a healthcare tax credit would not pay for the insurance. The Republican guest suggested healthcare tax credits as his way for people with no insurance to be able to get it. There would be no caps on what insurance companies can charge. Insurance companies can compete now but they do not do it to lower their prices. Republican do not see a problem with so many without insurance. If left to them they would cut out Medicare a good goverment program. There needs a plan to covers eveyone even those that can not afford it. Healthcare should be available to all not just the few rich lucky ones.

LB   August 19th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Fox Mulder may have been right after all!

maryann thorton   August 19th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

I am a seventeen year survivor of breast cancer. As a single parent, I could not imagine being as healthy as I am today without the excellent medical care I received. The thought of using medical care as a tax deduction is so unrealistic to all of us who have monthly bills to meet.

My daughter is now 22 yrs. old. Seventeen yrs ago, I had hoped there would have been medical breakthroughs for breast cancer. My mother had breast cancer, and my daughter's father's mother died from breast cancer.

To hear medical insurance used as a tax deduction is unreasonable.

D.B.Hebert   August 19th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I agree with Mr. McHugh that the Republicans are shoving propagandA at seniors an handicapped as though this aministration will start pumping them allfull of potassium chl. and pentobarbital to
knock the undesireables off, if anyone woul resort to that tactic ....

TE from OK   August 19th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

RJ, it isn't free no health care in other countries is free. I don't know where people are getting this. Everyone will have to pay into this sytem.

Most people don't realize we all of the insureds are paying for the uninsureds who are in the ER at hospitals. They go to ER when they have a very serious problem that cost $20,000 or more. I think all of us should pay.

Trust me, more people will lose their health care because of the price and what is left of the middle class won't be a pretty picture in 10 years.

Jonie   August 19th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

If you have a child or children it is your , meaning the parents responsibility to instill values, morals and ethics in them. Parents need to work with their children and prepare them for pre-k or K. Teachers can only do so much. Guidance and learning start at home and very early on. As a parent, you make the time . Some parents send their children unprepared for school, meaning some at pre-k and k, do not know their numbers, colors, letters,etc. You work with your child, they are the most precious gift. Some parents just don't care and that is the way it is. And yes, you can tell a child early on in early childhood education, whether or not that child will rise above expectation or not. Parents need to be more involved.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

TE from OK

The health insurance guns know that a public option would ultimately be more cost-effective both for the economy and the consumer, and they know it would be bad for million-making business because it would force them to revamp their ridiculous, exploitative bottom-lines, so they fight hard, and they fight dirty, and as usual, Americans fall for it.

You are right on the money! I could not have expressed it better!!! I am so happy others see this! This is where Capitalism meets obliteration!

LB   August 19th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

After hearing that lineup on 360 I think I will watch CSI NY.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

@ TE from OK

Medicaid covers all the uninsured and illegal uninsured!

Jillonne K, Largo, Florida   August 19th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

@ RJ .....and while you're at it, do your homework and then shove your illiterate opinions where the sun doesn't shine, bubba!

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

LB lol

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Look I voted for the guy, we needed change badly but I thought by the way Obama campaigned he was going to make right to the working middle class. Now he`s been seen bad mouthing the governments own Postal Service, like all Postal employees are incompetent, no the guy handling your package delivering your mail arent the ones at fault, its the upper management and fat bonuses and perks that have put them in bad shape. But it will be the guy who delivers your mail and sorts your packages and such who are going to get the axe, and they way its looking it will be in the hundreds of thousands on unemployment if the top brass get their way, it aint right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Irene@ lake havasu city   August 19th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

extra terrestrials are as real as the humans that leave on earth. and they are hundreds of races of them too. we were placed here (by these ET's) from other planets-hence the difft races we are here on earth. they had some wars (racism/differences are the cause) w/ each other and sooner or later if we don't settle our differences (w/c we really dont have), history will repeat (world war that will end human existence) itself here on earth.

Rnn   August 19th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

The previous govt is the cause for every thing. Mr. Bush waged a war which caused an unrepairable damage to this great country. Now his supporters are stepping backwards. What a shame on them!!

Kathryn Reed   August 19th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Congratulations to Elizabeth Edwards for her courage to come forward and speak up in favor of health care reform with the public option. She looks great and I applaud her for supporting President Obama's plan.
While fighting stage 4 breast cancer, she is promoting health reform. This alone makes a strong statement for why we need the President's bill passed. America is watching, and Congress needs to put the health of its voting citizens as a top priority. Congress, forget what is best for the private insurance companies with their big bonuses given out, forget the private donations toward your election campaigns and do what is right for our country and what your conscience tells you is the morally right thing to do. Vote for our President's bill with the public option.

vallary   August 19th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Have some TACK LARRY, why can't people leave this women alone. She is raising her family and survior cancer for now. I don't think LARRY you should have asked her anything about her husband. He doesn't need the air time. SHE does. I wish her all the best and a little peace.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

@ Jillonne K, Largo, Florida

Very nice... just read what we are discussing and drop in with some Crap!!!

I may not agree with RJ but you are the idiot!

James Jay Ferreira   August 19th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Hi Larry look what the government has done with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan they make a mess out of what ever they touch why is it always the U.S.A',S business to go to the other country' s and mess with thing's that are not our business now they are going to mess with health care and they will mess that up to !!!!

Pat   August 19th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Health care is bad? What are you thinking? We have health care for everyone. We have way better lives, and way happier people. We don't shoot each other either. By the way, I'm right wing.

Why would universal health care be bad. Cause of $ ?. Take the trillions you've absolutely wasted killing people who couldn't hurt your country if they tried and health care would be paid for. Hmmm.
Free health care.

Ever wonder why our banking system is the most stable in the world??

Youse guys have to get over it.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Jillonne, what contributions you have added to what was intelligent discussion!

Ann Johnson   August 19th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Enjoyed the debate, but as a recently diagnosed 41 year old woman with breast cancer, I almost fell off my chair when Mr. King reminded Elizabeth Edwards that she is in stage IV with her cancer after she said she was doing ok. How inconsiderate and insensitive of Mr. King! That is like someone reminding him of his age, and whether or not he should still be interviewing people and having a television show.

Mark   August 19th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

@ Dodie, no it doesn't, if you own a house you have to sell it and use the proceeds before medicaid is available. So if you are low income and own a home you do not have health insurance. However, all medicaid regulations vary from state to state.

RJ   August 19th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Obama did NOT at anytime while campaigning for President did he say I`ll take everything I can from the tax payer and have a free giveaway parade. I agree some people need unlimited health care for certain conditions but far too many get free health care as it is and thinks it an entitlement, is this the way you were raised, stand in line for free handout I hope not!!!!!!!

Jewel   August 19th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

One would think that at this point in time, Larry could have been a bit more discerning. Elizabeth was on his show to discuss health care, not any phases of her life afterJohn Edwards' infidelity. I was disappointed that Larry just couldn't stick to the topic and treat her with dignity. Hasn't she been through enough with John & her breast cancer? Hasn't had enough humiliation , why add to it?!?!

Pat   August 19th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Come to Canada. You're all welcome.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

@ Mark... Check this out

Certer for Immigration Studies
Topoc: The High Cost of Cheap Labor: Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget
By Steven A. Camarota

Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.

Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:02 pm ET


Will Canada accept American Health care insurance. I will have it when I retire since I work for the American Government! I don't want to be a drain on another country

RJ   August 19th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Look I`m in the same boat, I have insurance which I pay dearly but recieve little in return and am one illness or accident away from losing everything but thats always the way its been! Start blaming the rich for shipping all of our jobs overseas, yes people half way across the world enjoy taking our wealth but there lies the problem! Blame your senator why you`ll lose everything because they have done nothing to regulate them because they own your congressman or woman! Its that simpl,e, dont blame me the working guy barely hanging on blame them!



Dieter   August 19th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

ok you guys before you start talking about heath care get the facts right ;;ask us here in canada how it works here ;; do we pay monthly; no;are we turned away ;no ;the people who are getting all bent on this don;t have a clue how things work ;;; and we don;t even have the best system out there but it works pretty good ;;when we have to see a doctor we decide who we go to ;;and all you do is show your heath card and your looked after;; and it doe;snt matter how many times you have to see the doctor;; i could go on and on ;; have a heart attack end up in the hospital and your looked after;; no bills ;;for your stay or operations nothing ;;rehab ;;nothing ;; this could be talked about better on the phone ;;so we;ll leave it here for now;; thanks ;; form canada;;

Virgil H. Soule   August 19th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

I will believe UFOs exist when someone explains how they might have gotten here from some other star system. According to Einstein, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. The only practical way of getting from one star to another is to be able to travel faster than light. If they're here, how did they gtet here?

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

Mark. Also check this out

Source: Pew Hispanic Center, 2005

Illegal immigrants can get emergency care through Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and people with disabilities

Keith Klem   August 19th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

Ok. National healthcare. Do we insure illegal aliens? 10 to 12 million. Let's figure out who supports illegals and let them pay for their healthcare and may God Bless them. I am sure they will feel good about that. Do we insure folks that make enough money to insure themselves but don't? That leaves 12-15 million. Let's give those left a tax credit and set up a pooled Health Savings account that covers them against catastrophic illnesses. The money must go to their insurance . Not cable tv. Not high speed internet. Not cell phones. For those that can afford it but do not pay. Let's make them pay but let's them group them in a pool that private insurance companies can bid on on to insure. That is a huge pool of people and surely because of the size of the pool they should get a great rate. Let's try to prevent folks from trying evade their obligation making people that play by the rules pay their bills. Please let's put it out on the table. It's about taking from those that try to lay by the rules and those that have figured out the system. Remember that socialism works until the last guy runs out of money! It's pretty simple.

Beverly Cornish   August 19th, 2009 10:06 pm ET

I thought Elizabeth Edwards looked beautiful on your program tonight and I have the greatest respect and admiration for her.The fact that people constantly remind her of her stage 4 cancer has to be a constant reminder of her mortality.She is a brave and class act woman and would like too see her run for office some day, I think she would not let people down like her husband did.

Lulu   August 19th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

i listened to the debate/discussion on health care and i so disagree with tommy Thompson. I currently have health insurance but must stay working to maintain it. i am 62 and eligible to retire but can NOt afford health care. I am satisfied that i am able to still work and get insurance. i am a nurse and easily employed. It has cost 1300 dollars monthly for insurance. I am not satisfied with the cost . I personally am aware of hundreds of people who can not have insurance as it is not available to them for a reasonable cost or they have been laid off from or lost jobs due to the economy. Most people are NOT satisfied with the cost of their insurance or the co-pays which are on top of the premiums.
This past weekend, I spent some time with Canadians who are pleased with their healthcare system. No one goes without as so many do in this country. I believe the only people who are pleased with the private health insurance are those currently making money at the expense of all the rest of us.
Mr Thompson has never had to suffer the fear of losing his health care benefits. He has enough money, influence and Government pension oh yes and THAT is at the expense of us the taxpayers!

RJ   August 19th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

Send the bill to Mexicos cartels, they are the only one with money as the Mexican government for all consideration are supported by American tax payers!

marie josee   August 19th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

After listening to the debate with Elizabeth Edwards and Mr. Thompson – the only empathetic moment that Mr. Thompson showed was as he was speaking of his wife and daughter and their bout with cancer....

Obviously, Mr. Thompson is very well to do so money is not an object when it concerns his family's care – as is the case with Elizabeth Edwards.....

I would ask Mr. Thompson, what is the mother, wife, daughter to do who has NO money – how is she supposed to treat/fight this disease –
Don't you see, Mr. Thompson – it is not only a monetary issuse – it is a "moral" issue – every citizen deserves the right to medical care.

Goal of Canada Health Act:

"The Act sets out the primary objective of Canadian health care policy, which is "to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers."

Please note very important words above: "without financial or other barriers".

It is very simple.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:09 pm ET


Yep, we can print money freely with no backing... however, the value of our money is going down the tubes. I know that for a fact. We will end up in terrible inflation... Even now, our money's value is terrible.

The world wants to rid the world bank of our money. I agree. It should be in gold or silver. But when that happens, we will really sink!

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

RJ ((( LOL )))

Mark   August 19th, 2009 10:10 pm ET


My comment was for uninsured, not just illegal, yes illegals can get assistance in the US. we consider ourselves a civilized and carring nation we are not going to turn away someone who is ill and needs medical assistance, but if you are legal, you are going to have to sell your house or take bankruptcy before we are going to give you medicaid. That was my point. Medicaid does not cover all uninsured.

kelly   August 19th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

hey Dodie-california,
I don't want to answer for Barbara Burton but just to let you know as a Canadian, all of the crap the republicans are feeding you about our healthcare is pure ignorance and i would love to see an actual Canadian debate this! Yes we pay more taxes, but we are not a third world nation living in the gutter because our hard earned dollars went to the government. Healthcare is not something we even think about because its our RIGHT and it seems to me that the Republicans are the government interfering in your health care! They dont want you to have it!! Good Luck America!

RJ   August 19th, 2009 10:12 pm ET

Just a little humor besides the billing would never get through the red tape here!

RJ   August 19th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

I grew up poor, I mean dirt poor but was raised to proud to take assistance, we simply did without, a concept lost in todays world. Times got lean we had to frop the phone for a month or two and or cut cable tv off, but we worked it out. Take good care of yourself and your kids and feed them right stuff not junk and hope for the best! This is the way its always been period! Tell your kids to stop having babies they cant afford! Tell them that, dont just sit there and encourage their behavior!

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

@ Mark...

I have not checked out what the individual has to do in order to obtain medicaid... however it seems to me that we are being kind to illegal immigrants while taking the homes of the Poor Americans.

we consider ourselves a civilized and caring nation. That might be true but it is also costing us billions of dollars

Chris   August 19th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

Dear Larry,
I am a father of 3 boys each under age 15. I cover my boys and myself through my employer's health insurance plan. The plan is a traditional co-pay plan that I paid extra to have. I consider it a very rich plan with $25 PCP copay, $500 deductible, $2000 co-insurance max. with 90% co-insurance and traditional copays for pharmacy. With 3 active boys I must admit I am far too familiar with using the benefits. Navigating healthcare is a disaster! Trying to figure out what you owe, how to get billing and claims issues cleared up. Insurance says call the Dr./Hospital so they can correct it. The Dr./Hospital says call the insurance company. Example: I go to a primary care Dr. for my poison ivy and pay my $25 copay. The Dr. files the claim with my provider and then turns around and tried to bill me an additional $150 dollars. What a mess!
My frustration with all the discussions about healthcare is the following.
All I hear is how un-affordable health insurance is for so many. Yes depending upon a person’s wellbeing or an employer’s track record of claims insurance can become out of touch from a budget perspective.
So why is health insurance so expensive? It is not the insurance company like everyone keeps saying. There is more to it!
What kind a monthly insurance premium can possibly provide coverage when you have countless examples of out of control costs of care.
• Why should a night in the hospital cost $9000?
• Or in my case removal of a penny from my 2 year olds throat $12,000?
There is no way my insurance company can cover such costs with any premium I could afford. Remember our premiums do not pay insurance claims. The insurance company collects premiums, invests those premiums and it is the return on the investments that pay claims. Don't think anyone needs to be told investments have been performing badly for a while now.
Americans have become spoiled!
We want to be able to pay a $15 copay while the Dr. bills the insurance company $195. We want to pay $150 for an emergency room visit that the hospital bills the insurance company $1000 for.
So why is health insurance so expensive? Medical costs and un-healthy lifestyle choices.
1. Technology – As new technology such as expensive diagnostic tests and or bio-medical engineered body parts have been introduced this has added to the costs associated with care
2. Drug Costs – As break through drugs are introduced that cost $1000's of dollars for a 30 day supply
(Any one stops to notice how hard the drug companies push all their life style drugs on TV and through their reps. Treating dr.'s to trips to Hawaii for 7 days of fun and 30 min of talk on the drugs do we not think this drives up drug costs and encourages Dr's to prescribe those drugs so they will continue to be invited and entertained. How about the fact that drug manufactures of medication getting ready to come off patent are making huge payoffs to generic drug companies to delay the release of their generic to allow the brand maker to make more profits longer.
3. Abuse of care: Members going to the emergency room and paying the $150 copay for a visit that costs $1000 vs. using a 24 hour nurse line and being able to wait in see their primary care physician and paying a $25 copay for a visit that costs closer to $100. Physicians more and more or finding ways to bill the insurance companies for higher costs services to make up for the slow down in patient visits. Example of finding a way to talk about some condition during an annual physical so they can then prescribe something and the visit goes from preventative to a treatment and allows the Dr. to generate a higher bill to the insurance company while the member never knows if they pay their copay because they no longer get EOB's for co-pay services.
4. Un-healthy lifestyle choices – BCBS will tell you there member data shows that probably 80% of all member claims are associated with conditions that are a result of poor member lifestyle choices. Example: Smoking, Being Over Weight etc.

Let’s focus on:
1. Prevention through education and access to preventative care. Wellness programs and Disease management for chronic conditions.
2. Consumer decision support tools that allow members to make as informed decisions about healthcare as they can about buying a car. I should be able to compare quality and cost of care before making a decision on place of care and type. We need a Consumer Reports for Healthcare.
3. Realistic charges for care. Why should a night in the hospital cost so much! Why should the insured have to be over charged to help cover the costs associated with those receiving care that never pay for it or go to the ER with non-emergency needs without insurance and then never pay.
4. Crack down on un-necessary care, errors and abuses. Increase efficiency of the health insurance system
5. Find a way to create a fund for those individuals with chronic conditions to put them into a high risk pool product. Right now a company with a small number of sick members ends up getting a big increase in costs at their renewal. This causes the employer to choose between increasing the costs to employees or reducing the richness of the benefits. As you reduce the richness of the plan the out of pocket expenses associated with the plan become impossible to cover.
I am tired of hearing politicians talk about health insurance. We need to be having politicians/lawmakers as the audience and have:
1. Medical Dr's and Providers
2. Health Insurance companies
3. American public (A. Insured B. Un-insured – can’t afford C. Un-insured because they don't see a need D. Across all ages)
Engaged in these discussions and guiding both parties in one room.
Mean while:
Our troops are still being sacrificed for an uncertain mission. Our economy remains very un-stable and states all over the nation are being forced to make cuts associated with education.
Cuts in education????????????????? Our children are the future of the success of this great nation!!! We better find a way to increase the number of quality teachers, bring back physical activity to reduce obesity in children and while where at it focus on healthier food choices at school and why not education on healthy lifestyle choices. Healthy people are more productive!!!
Please continue to provide your venue for the education of the American public and the world relative to topics that impact us all. You offer a wonderful service!! Thank you Larry!
Chris Ross

LLOYD R. MCGHANEY   August 19th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

My healthcare supliment have increased 300%+ since 1986.. My income have not.
The Republicans have watched costs continue to double over and over and did nothing about it.
Now that we are about to see an end to their neglect they want to block any progress to end their crappy lack of positive input and support and the installation of a system of "affordable healtcare" for every citizen.

Dodie ~ California   August 19th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

@ Kelly

Will Canada accept my medical insurance? I do NOT want to be a drain on your country! I am OK with extra taxes. Like you said, I would not lose my home

kelly   August 19th, 2009 10:39 pm ET


If you are a citizen of this country, you are covered by our health plan period. you can find out any details by calling whatever province you decide to reside in they will have a health department. You are not a burden on our country because you will be a resident and we take care of our people as well as any visiting people so welcome and relax. Our taxes are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be and i really don't even notice because it is payed willingly with the knowledge that our roads and towns are looked after as well as our people!!

Torointo Buddy   August 19th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

After a robust debate on health care, Mr. King you had to hit Elizabeth Edwards with some of the uglist questions I have ever heard. As ill as she is, Mrs. Edwards is willing to fight for her belief in an equitable health care system for all Americans. I don't know which of your questions about her personal life was most objectionable but all of them were needless, insensitive and dispicable. She did not need to be reminded of such a painful episode in her life or the seriousness of her illness. How cruel of you!

Mary in AZ   August 19th, 2009 10:57 pm ET

I was watching tonight's program and was totally disgusted with Tommy Thompson's behavior! He is totally rude! Not to mention that he also does not have any real knowledge...or perhaps is just too right-winged to see the truth...or is just way too into the pockets of the insurance industry. It was very obvious that Elizabeth Edwards knows her stuff and she did a very fine job of sharing her information. On the other hand, T. Thompson came across as a not too bright but terribly condescending rude man. My husband reminded me that we had seen that on many occasions when we lived in the Midwest. It just appalls me to watch so many who are narrow minded and not willing to look at any issue globally. It is truly an embarrassment to have these people projecting to the world the vision that all that matters is doing anything and everything possible to destroy our all cost. And of course to take down any and every person who has the foresight to check out their facts and attempt to carry on an honest discussion with the "right wing radicals". Pretty darn sad!

maggie   August 19th, 2009 11:20 pm ET

Hi Larry,

I loved the discussion on UFO sightings. Back in 1973, I was listening to a radio talk show in San Francisco. A guy called in and claimed he had been contacted by aliens (sounded like a great spoof). He visited with them and was very skeptical until they answered many questions that no one else would have known.

The reason they contacted him was because they needed a vehicle to get their message out....they were concerned that the US & other countries were altering the balance of the universe by exploding nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.

Also, they told him they had been visiting earth for many centuries, however they only intervene when things get out-of-control (i.e. sodom and gomorra). In earlier centuries, they sent "Jesus" a human likeness to give us some morals.... so we wouldn't destroy the human race.

The caller asked why they don't just reveal themselves to the world...they replied that our world was too contaminated for them..and they also didn't want to cause mass kaos.

They went on to explain that they were actually a higher life form ...that when humans die, they will go on to this higher form of life. This, in a way, does makes some sense out of the reason "Jesus" visited earth and offered us humans a higher form of life – heaven.

I think this is the best explaination of why we have seen evidence of extraterrestrials and space ships over the past 60 some years...perhaps longer???

Rodney Carvalho   August 19th, 2009 11:23 pm ET

I've been listening to everybody who's been talking about Health Care reforme lately, but I am astonished with all this, because so far no one has been talking about raising people's salary, on a annual basis, so that he/she may afford to pay for a private healthe insurance, not every one in this country receives well-paid bonus or any bonus for that mattler, many of them have been on the same salary for years, if a given company does not give salary increse, it should at least update annually their employees' salary according to the cost of living and inflation/ or do you believe those things don't happen here??? However, I strong believe the government has a moral obligation to provide health insurance to the taxes payers. We've been paying all the increses imposed by law and mostly the time we don't question themt, we pay the increses quietly.

Now, in case of a health plan provided by the government, I think strong policies should be created, that would protect the patients aganist abuse from the govenment part. Patients would receive all the medical needs, regardless the condition. I dream of a society where health care wouldn't be an issue, because all manking is worthy to receive an adquade health treatment. Thank you.

Tom - Maryland   August 19th, 2009 11:36 pm ET

Here's my concern...

Whenever insurance is "Universal", individual behaviors affect the "Common Good" and are subject to modification (ref. "Click-it or Ticket" seatbelt initiative).

Both Rebublicans and Democrats cite "prevention" as the centerpiece of any Universal plan. Will regular checkups and flu shots become mandatory? Will smoking become illegal? How will body fat and cholesterol levels be enforced? What about exercise? What form will this enforcement take? Who decides what's "healthy"?

Universal Health Care may ultimately be for the best, but it scares the hell out of me.

Joe Yuna   August 19th, 2009 11:55 pm ET

Let's deal in facts not blind political loyalty. If one looks at what Congress had done to military heslth care since Clinton, then you should worry. Since we have been paying for health care since the last democratic president, and even now despite Obama's lies there are written reorts to further dminish active and retired medical benefits with higher deductibles, what sane person believes that the larger public sector will get more? We have lived with referals since the first loss in our benefits while congress has a lifetime package, retirement for less than 20 years of service, and retirement for congresdional spouses. Further, the real cause of increased health care are lawyers and greedy citizens in tort lawsuits. Doctors issue too many tests as insurance against misdiagnosis and the reduced time they have for each patient thanks to today's spoilt youth majoring in professions we do not need and that are easy majors in college.

Fix lawyers, fix tort lawsuits, but fix Congress first and the likes of these charlatan democrats who camnot with a majority their socialists plans through their own peer grpup.

And why do we pay for illegal immigrants and 3 generations of welfare recipiants health care costs? Enough of we are the world, and back to being Americans.

Gary   August 20th, 2009 12:12 am ET

Gov Thompson said a public option will ruin health care in America. Newsflash Governor, it is all ready ruined! The World Health Care Organization ranks the USA 37th, right ahaead of Slovenia!

Dr. Bill Williams   August 20th, 2009 12:14 am ET

" U.S. Veteran. My professional life has been full Professorship in 3 U.S. State medical Schools and Dean in 2. Now, I'm retired and looking forward to continuing my current Medicare insurance coverage fully to my demise."


Las Vegas, NV

allison   August 20th, 2009 12:18 am ET

I'm Canadian, and though our system is not perfect, I feel so fortunate that I have never in my life had to be concerned about paying for any medical treatment or procedure. I can't imagine how terrible it would be to fall seriously ill and have to worry about how to pay for treatment rather than just focusing on recovery. Affordable access to health care should not be a money making business – it should be a right available to every human being. American people, please stop listening to the socialist propaganda!

jack   August 20th, 2009 12:19 am ET

Tommy Thompson is probably working for or getting funds from an insurance company or indirectly through other conservative groups. Should expect what he says to be blatant lies to serve public interests. It is high time the lavish blood money is cut off to the for profit insurance executives, and we have a sane singlr payer plan, or at least a strong government option government run alternative. Why do we pay several times what other industrialized countries pay for health insurance , while we are ranked 38th in quality? We also have a lower life expectancy in US, than say France or Canada that have public plans. Let's stop the lies, Urge your legislators to support a strong public option, or let them know there will be a political price to pay. If they put insurance corporations beyond you and your families health and financial well being, throw the bums out of office. Also , it is time the President shores up his crew and speaks out strongly and unambiguously for a strong public option. This was one of his main promises , and one that will cost him many supporters , wo worked hard to get him elected.

Ralph Valente   August 20th, 2009 12:22 am ET

Mr. King:

I have been providing companies group health insurance programs for over 15 years. No one would deny that Health Carriers make money, but the root of the problem is not the insurance of. It starts with the cost of the providers.

Farid Khattab aka Oro Selket   August 20th, 2009 12:22 am ET

I would like to help Elizabeth Edwards with her breast cancer, I do energy healing and my speciality is breast related illnesses and kidney stones, I have a 90% success rate with such cases.

Ask Elizabeth and if she agrees to contact me, give her my email I would be more than happy to help her.

There is nothing to lose, however success would mean a lot to her.

Will Alternative medicine be covered under the new health reform

Farid Khattab aka Oro Selket

jack   August 20th, 2009 12:24 am ET

Wonder who is paying Tommy his blood money to propagandize on behalf of the wealthy, crooked insurance corporate elite?

Susan Genereux   August 20th, 2009 12:25 am ET

The health insurance companies are in business to make money not to spend money to make us well. They care only about their bottom line. We need to take profit out of health insurance. They should be not profit–they should be able to pay for their operating expenses, pay their executives reasonable salaries and at the end of the year any profit they make should be reimbursed to those who pay their insurance premiums.

also, I think whatever health care coverage the house and senate pass for American citizens should be what senators and congressman have to use.

Lauren   August 20th, 2009 12:32 am ET

I don't know how Mr. Thompson can claim drug prices have "leveled off"... They haven't. I've gone to get medicine, and found a bill of $700... AFTER Medicare paid $3,300 of the bill. It was for an inhaled antibiotic... not, not a narcotic, or something that is controversial. An antibiotic that helps keep me OUT of the hospital. I couldn't afford it. This is not the first, and I'm sure won't be the last that I've gone to pick up a prescription and left with out it due to cost.

I have Cystic Fibrosis... I personally would like to avoid needing a transplant... I'd like to stay healthy. But as of now, the system treats you AFTER you get sick, preventing it from happening just isn't profitable.

Judy   August 20th, 2009 12:32 am ET

If this heath care is so good for the american people, why doesnt someone like Mrs. Edwards an all the others trying to cram it to us, using it too, would save the tax payers millions of dollars, if the people who think its so great would use it too, and by the way, we all know the real reason why, none of them would give up the life long best care in the world for what we normal tax payers use, or that they are trying to make us use, do they think they're to good for it?

Leonid Olshansky   August 20th, 2009 12:32 am ET

That guy is full of ... wrong ideas, I wish good lake to his wife and daugther.

James Rusk   August 20th, 2009 12:39 am ET

Hello Larry!
Did you ever get a drug sample from your doctor? Ever notice how the package was so elaborate for such a small pill?........Great marketing?Passed on to the consumer?.....Dont worry the side effects are worse than the benifits.....
No one has even mentioned the role of drug companies in the cost of healthcare....or how they might be able to help. I doubt the package will.

James Gernhofer   August 20th, 2009 12:40 am ET

Not only is Elizabeth Edwards a genuine, articulate, and intelligent woman, but the depth of her soul, spirit, and beauty – both inside and out – are remarkable, and she is truly an inspirtional human being.
On the other hand, her husban is an idiot.

larry beck   August 20th, 2009 12:40 am ET

It is interesting to note that nothing was said about Tommy Thompson's connection with the health care industry. He is president of Logistic Health Corporation in LaCrosse Wi.. This company has an ongoing contract with the U.S. government to provide private services for the national guard.

Luise Peyton   August 20th, 2009 12:42 am ET

I have been listening to the health care reform with great interest.
I'm an American citizen but I'm also a native of Germany. I also worked for many years as a nurse in Germany. Germany has a socialized health care system. It is a combination of public and private insurance and it works great together. The German system is not perfect and there is always room to improve; but it can easily compete in terms of quality and effectiveness with the current American health care system. I think there is a lot of misinformation about socialized medicine here in the US which feeds into the anxiety of the American people.
Here are some of the benefits that Germans can rely on in case of illness.
· People have free choice of physician or specialist.
· There are usually no long waiting periods involved.:
· Physicians come for home visists if patient is unable to come to the medical office
· Regular Health check-ups and screening for children and adults ·
· Regular Cancer Screening
· Preventive Measures
· · Vaccination I
· In the event of illness:
· · medical treatments
· · hospital treatments
· · rehabilitation that includes, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy,
· complementary treatments, such as massages, acupuncture
· in patient Spa treatments in various medical Spa’s for individuals with chronic disorders (Prescription needed from family physician and only every three years)
· Spa vacation for mother/child (if recommended by physician)
· · drugs, dressings, and aids, such as hearing aids and wheelchairs,
· · home help if an insured person has a child under 12 living in his/her home and must go into hospital and is thus unable to look after the household,
· · home nursing care if this helps avoid or shorten a stay in hospital
· dental treatments including restorative treatments
. orthodontic treatments up to age 18
· Sick pay for individuals who are unfit to work during illness
· · Sick pay if a child is ill
· · women entitled to sickness benefit are also entitled to maternity benefit, usually for six weeks before and eight weeks after the birth. During pregnancy and while receiving maternity benefit, a woman remains a member in the health insurance fund.

I think the benefits speak for itself!!!! Is this really a health care system to be afraid off???????

Luise E. Peyton

John Wenger   August 20th, 2009 12:45 am ET

One thing Tommy Thompson forgot to explain to Elizabeth Edwards is the reason why private insurance plans are so high. Mandates on insurance companies to cover certain treatments raises premiums because people have to pay for more in their premiums for services they may not even need (for example: it is mandated that insurers have to cover pre-natal care for everyone they insure, yet half the population paying for premiums don't need it because they are men), this restricts free market because people can't choose what they want covered in their insurance coverage. Also low reimbursement rates by Medicaid and Medicare have caused many people to use emergency rooms for treatment because many primary care physicians won't treat them because the pay is so low. A study last year showed that the majority of people who went to the emergency room fro treatment were either medicaid or medicare recipients. This causes a cost shift to the private market and premiums when people fail to pay their emergency bills because hospitals have to absorb the costs. Also tort law is so severe that doctors have to perform excessive tests under the fear that they will be sued, 30% of health care treatment is unnecessary because of this. Elizabeth Edwards is wrong when she said we have a free market health care system right now, because for the reasons stated above we obviously don't.

T Cooper   August 20th, 2009 12:45 am ET

The republican party for the most part are being paid off by the insurance companies and drug companies. The republican party is out of control! ...I no longer support them!.... My vote is to throw the bum;s out of office! ..This country needs to get with the program and get to the truth with out all the bull _hit.

Washington has been bought off by big business and the little guy needs to get the facts....then fire these SOB'S out of office!.

I was not an Oboma fan at first but he's doing a better job then any republican can do! and thats a fact!. From this point on I WILL VOTE OUT ANY ONE THAT RUNS AS A REPUBLICAN.

Also I will no longer turn on FOX news as they also are full of _hit!

I never thought I would see this country so screwed up!

The far right needs to re-read their bible's and understand what it say's,misleading people to the true facts show how screwed up these people are!

Like I have stated vote out all the republicans and the blue dogs as they are not looking out for the american people!

Leonid Olshansky   August 20th, 2009 12:48 am ET

Our government pledge to defend freedom and constitutiuon. Health is major aspect of freedom and it should not be a business, there for ho ewer against idea of government responsibilities for health of people and for "free" marketed medical help is against constitution and freedom
as a whole. What's next? Breeze as much as you can afford ?

Rachel   August 20th, 2009 12:51 am ET

First of all ELizabeth Edwards looks great!!! She doesnt have to take on this health care fight , she can afford any health care she wants and shes an amazing lady especially with her own health issues to care about others to do so!!
I've got to hand it to Larry as he consistently says some of the stupidist insensitive things, is he senile???
I thought maybe he would be a class act and NOT even go there and ask ELizabeth Edwards about her IDIOT husband and his pathetic mistress scum! For gods sake it was written all over ELizabeths face to just leave it alone, thats her business and if John the liar broke any laws then let HIM pay for it.. Elizabeth will be here for a lonnnnnnng time to come.

Theresa   August 20th, 2009 12:57 am ET

It is a little selfish if people really think we are the only creatures in the universe, it makes me wonder what they think of us and are airplanes. Also why not take all the computers out of the prisons and give them to the schools, and take all there luxury privileges away that us tax payers are paying for and give it to the schools.

Leonid Olshansky   August 20th, 2009 1:03 am ET

Universe is infinite, idea that we are the only intellect in universe is less
than naive. Politicians want us to think that way because if there is some body up there more significant (powerful) then them, why do we need them for?

rebecca   August 20th, 2009 1:11 am ET

I would like to know who is padding Tommy's pocket???

Of course health care is a "RIGHT" and should be now ELEVATED to a SOCIAL SERVICE and NOT a business for profiteering.

We absolutely need an overhaul of this MISERABLE blood sucking system that we have allowed to exist.

No Tommy, we cannot keep the current disfunctional system in place with a little "fresh paint".

People are profitting from the mysery of others and what is required is government REGULATION & supervision, BIG TIME!!!


This is one of the richest countries in the world and we cannot admit our failures to insure proper Health Care for America.

that Health Care is not a priviledge but a right belonging to those who support this country.

Allowing medical insurance companies to EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE (and also allowing pharmaceutical companies to pay doctors bonuses) is completely in opposition to offering citizens simple straight uncomplicated and inexpensive medical care.

All the BULL associated with insurance coverage and the lack of control over doctor's or hospital charges because they are in it for wealth and profit is so insanly selfish and crazy, that trying to deal with the medical system is like living in a Kafka novel.

I know because I've been disabled for a number of years now and am angry and sad at the whole scene. It is disgraceful.

How funny, three people commenting before me have said the same thing as me that Tommy's pockets must be getting padded somewhere to be so supportive of a blatantly corrupt system.

Sorry Tommy, Elizabeth is the one that is RIGHT !!!

tim cranfield   August 20th, 2009 1:17 am ET

Give us the history of Health/ Medicare in the USA. It will show that the Dems and Reps. are both supporters. The prblrm is politics. Why is no one talking abouth the healthcare dollars following the patient, rather than the supplier. The heath care insurers today tell u what to do, no choice. Wake up america, your being screwed.

Venisha Carter   August 20th, 2009 1:23 am ET

I agree w/Cosby on the school funding n health. Everyone knows that a person has to eat well or drink something balanced in order to function well and be focused. That is too much money to spend on people that break the law. Give it to students. They work hard for it and deserve it.

jack   August 20th, 2009 1:25 am ET

I am not convinced or unconvinced that we have been visited by UFOs. But, if they are out there, and visiting earth, I wish they would make themeselves apparent and share some wisdom with us. As earthlings, we seem to be getting dumber in the areas of benefiting society and developing compassionate policies. What we are getting better at seems to be in the areas of developing more cruel practices, such as torture, and giving more to the 1% of our population that controls 97% of the wealth, and in promoting one senseless war and oppressive law after another. We need wisdom from wherever we can get it, before it is too late. I hope people will begin to put some effort into thinking things through, and not be fooled by, those in the media, corporations and government who are working against making the world a better and more healthy place to live. Our pursuit of happiness needs to get some traction. Vote for those who try to help all our people just not the wealthiest. Please, no more Reagon or Bush economics. I thinnk we know what trickles down to the middle and lower classes. And for those who still think the GOP has your best interests in mind, unless you are very wealthy, you are probably quite wrong. And the conservative democrats , who serve their corporate masters while trying to keep you from having affordable government health care and a decent life, they are no better! I pray there will be an awakening to peace and prosperity and a litle human empathy. Do we need aliens , or can we move in that direction ourselves?

eddie mott   August 20th, 2009 1:46 am ET

my wife cheryl has chornic lyme disease from a tick bite. There is no insurance that cover this disease. Yet, there are thousand of individules that have this disease. She has been to Vanderbuilt, cleveland clinic and many other specialist.They all literly raised thier hands and said there is nothing we can do for you! After thousands of dollors in medical bills and lawyer fees there is very little hope. We currently travel to S.C. from TN. a eight hour trip for treatment every three to four months. The lab test run appriximately $700.00 which has to be done before each visit. The visit is $375.00, The antibiotic medication is $1000.00 a month. There are the expeince of gas meals, and hotel.which is approximately $300.00. She recieves s.s. benifets but, no medical. I make less than $13.00 an hour. Cheryl stays in pain 24/7 I cook wash the cloths, clean house, and deal with family and public problems everyday as a LT. Deputy for a local Sheriff Department who offers no insurance. If I come down with medical emergencey or diesease what hope in life do we have? We lose our home and hit the homeless skid row and just die! The Goverment could care less. cheryl and I have worked hard since our teenage years. Togeather we used make around $43000.00 a year and kept heath insurance untill may 29th of 2007. Now no one wants to inscaure us now. Lyme disese is growing in leeps and bounds. If you don't believe me, remember this the next time you take a walk in the woods or enjoy a back yard bar-b -que. It's real, and coming to your next outing! There is no real cure, and the hope in life is dim. By the way there is no sex, in fear of catching the disease your self, and if your christian there is no such thing as cheating on your spouse.

carolyn-AustinTX   August 20th, 2009 1:49 am ET

We must get control of medical costs and insurance coverage for all in the US. The only way is to actually have competition, for insurance and for medications... and help for doctors who are in their profession to actually help people and exposure for doctors who are in it their profession mostly because of the money they earn.. and there are some like that.

People need to realize doctors are not magicians, and they are "practicing" medicine. Sometimes you need a 2nd opinion.

There should be a law that if pharma companies think they need to advertise on prime time TV for ME to tell my doctor what I think I should take.. they can NOT pass that cost into the price of their products. It must cost them (us) a fortune for all the ads I see.

Tom - Maryland   August 20th, 2009 2:35 am ET

It's been said many times, but no one seems to hear...

Health Care Reform can not be seriously addressed without first addressing Tort Reform? The Democratic Party is the party OF, BY, and FOR Trial Lawyers. By definition, effective Health Care Reform is doomed to failure.

Staajabu Heshimu   August 20th, 2009 3:18 am ET

Tommy Thompson says the government will price health insurance lower than private insurers will be able to do, thus driving them out of business. That's the opposite of the argument Republicans usually make when they encourage government entities to "contract out" services the government currently provides. There the argument is the private sector can do it cheaper. C'mon now; they can't have it both ways~

Anne   August 20th, 2009 3:26 am ET

Trying to be bipartison with Congresspeople who have deliberately distored the facts in the bill being proposed is looking like a futile endevor. The public option is the only way to cover every citizen in this country. When people can go to a doctor when they are ill and not worry that they can't pay will do more to stop the possible epidemics we are facing with swine flu and other super bugs that have evolved from the overuse of antibiotics in livestock and even the soap we use.
The way to pay for it is to raise taxes on the top 1% income bracket. If it were rolled back to what it was the first year Reagan was in office, it would be 50%. The history of our income tax, shown on the chart below, indicates clearly that that is far from the highest income tax that group has paid. 3 Generations back, when there weren't the loop holes in the tax system, or the off shore accounts and hidden investments, it was 90%!

Historical rates (married couples, filing jointly)

Tax year Top marginal
tax rate (%) Top marginal
tax rate (%) on
earned income,
if different Taxable
income over–
1913 7 500,000
1914 7 500,000
1915 7 500,000
1916 15 2,000,000
1917 67 2,000,000
1918 77 1,000,000
1919 73 1,000,000
1920 73 1,000,000
1921 73 1,000,000
1922 58 200,000
1923 43.5 200,000
1924 46 500,000
1925 25 100,000
1926 25 100,000
1927 25 100,000
1928 25 100,000
1929 24 100,000
1930 25 100,000
1931 25 100,000
1932 63 1,000,000
1933 63 1,000,000
1934 63 1,000,000
1935 63 1,000,000
1936 79 5,000,000
1937 79 5,000,000
1938 79 5,000,000
1939 79 5,000,000
1940 81.1 5,000,000
1941 81 5,000,000
1942 88 200,000
1943 88 200,000
1944 94 200,000
1945 94 200,000
1946 86.45 200,000
1947 86.45 200,000
1948 82.13 400,000
1949 82.13 400,000
1950 84.36 400,000
1951 91 400,000
1952 92 400,000
1953 92 400,000
1954 91 400,000
1955 91 400,000
1956 91 400,000
1957 91 400,000
1958 91 400,000
1959 91 400,000
1960 91 400,000
1961 91 400,000
1962 91 400,000
1963 91 400,000
1964 77 400,000
1965 70 200,000
1966 70 200,000
1967 70 200,000
1968 75.25 200,000
1969 77 200,000
1970 71.75 200,000
1971 70 60 200,000
1972 70 50 200,000
1973 70 50 200,000
1974 70 50 200,000
1975 70 50 200,000
1976 70 50 200,000
1977 70 50 203,200
1978 70 50 203,200
1979 70 50 215,400
1980 70 50 215,400
1981 69.125 50 215,400
1982 50 85,600
1983 50 109,400
1984 50 162,400
1985 50 169,020
1986 50 175,250
1987 38.5 90,000
1988 28 29,750
1989 28 30,950
1990 28 32,450
1991 31 82,150
1992 31 86,500
1993 39.6 89,150
1994 39.6 250,000
1995 39.6 256,500
1996 39.6 263,750
1997 39.6 271,050
1998 39.6 278,450
1999 39.6 283,150
2000 39.6 288,350
2001 39.1 297,350
2002 38.6 307,050
2003 35 311,950
This graph is a plot of year (first column in the table) against the corresponding top marginal rate (second column in the table) (in blue). Where the top marginal rate on earned income differs (1971–1981), it is also plotted (in red).

We need the middle man, the health insurance industry, out of our health care policies.

DON   August 20th, 2009 3:40 am ET








DON   August 20th, 2009 3:51 am ET

UFO'S ???



WE R F'ED !!!














Gerald Kalisik   August 20th, 2009 5:09 am ET

The government already operates health insurance. It's called Medicare. Fix Medicare and expand it to cover those who need health insurance, don't create a new government insurance company.

Bob Barnes   August 20th, 2009 5:25 am ET

Shame on you, Larry, for not being able to find someone to make the case for real health care reform! Why do you invite lame spokespersons like Elizabeth Edwards, who allow right wing liars to walk all over them. Jesus Christ, get someone with balls and knowledge, like Bill Maher!!!!!

Tommy Thompson is one of the hugest lying weasels on the planet, a pimp for the health (greed) care mafia that's ruining this country.

PS. the argument that the government can't run anything is getting old. Of course medicare is going broke, because the risk is shared only among the old and enfeeble, not spread out over the whole population.

Insurance companies are only motivated by profit motives, which means charge the most and pay out the least.

Lurdes Bastida Viana   August 20th, 2009 5:51 am ET

I´m from Portugal.
It makes me sad to know that a State like it is USA, the most rich of all, have a fragile state of health care that only counts for rich ones. Some times it´s good to get models from other countries that aren´t in the top of the world, but it works.

Dara - New Jersey/Serbia   August 20th, 2009 6:09 am ET

I am a 30 year-old wife and mother of one, currently pregnant with our second child and unable to get ANY kind of maternity coverage. My family and I were in Europe for my husband's job last year when I became pregnant. We had canceled our VERY expensive Oxford health insurance since we planned to be away for almost a year and would not be covered abroad. When we returned to the US just eight weeks into the pregnancy, we found that no insurance carrier would cover the pregnancy since I did not have coverage at the time of conception. This seems to me a very fatal flaw (one of many) in our health care system, when a pregnant woman cannot get maternity coverage for herself or her baby. We make just over the limit for medicaid, but not nearly enough to pay for the entire pregnancy and labor out-of-pocket, which can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, even if everything goes normally. Millions of pregnant women every year cannot get health coverage and therefor do not get adequate prenatal care, putting themselves and their babies at great risk. So what does that say about our country and where its' priorities lie? In our case, we ended up returning to Serbia to have the baby, a country with socialized medicine and, even though I am not a citizen, extremely low-cost and high-quality medical care. Well I just wanted to tell my story as I thought this is an issue that MUST be addressed when discussing health care reform.

Gina. / Calif.   August 20th, 2009 9:46 am ET

Tommy Thompson is such a hypocrite! There he sits with his government pension and his "public option" government paid health care as a former Gov. / Cabinet Sec. telling us what we want!. We want exactly what he already has: a government paid health care plan that covers all of us. If private insurance companies cannot compete in a fare market at a reasonable rate, that's capitalism! Health care should be for people not for profit anyway. Shame on you and Elizabeth for not calling him on this!

Rodney Carvalho   August 20th, 2009 1:01 pm ET

Dear Americans, don't be ignorants concerning healthcare reforme, the lack of knowledge from many blind their understanding, this country will never be a socialist country, our constitution defends our freedom. Look at other countries around you, pay attention to what is going on out there, don't be confined into this country only, learn something knew, don't be affraid of having a health care provided by our government it is your right, you pay taxes not only to keep your streets clean but also to have a great healthcare system, in a evolved and developed country like this one universal healthcare system should have been on the constitution decades ago. Look at Canada, Germany, Brazil etc... the system may not be perfect, but it is there available to our fellow citizens to be used in times of trouble, stop using health care in general in order to make money, if you are rich enough to pay for a private healthcare do it for yourself and God bless you have the means to do so, but don't prevent the working class americans from getting the treatment they deserve, be englighted, be an example for other. I dream of a society where money and healtcare won't be an issue any more, beacause all have come to a full spiritual enlightement. Like the UFO's who have been visiting us for a long time. Please open your minds not your bank accounts.

Pat   August 20th, 2009 5:22 pm ET

ALL Canadians get health care. Whether its cancer, open heart surgery or a broken bone, ALL get care. Repeat ALL! No charge !!

Half the cost of the war would give you all free health care. Unless something was accomplished over there. Ooops, guess it wasn't.

Don't watch your country go down the tubes. Was the wealtiest on the planet, now is the largest debtor. WOW. That's huge.

Picture in the paper today of a guy at a health care protest with a gun on his hip. What are you thinking?

We're happy, stable and enjoying the good life. Come to Canada.

Rodney Carvalho   August 21st, 2009 12:05 am ET

I agree with Pat in all things.

Linda   August 21st, 2009 6:22 am ET

I agree Elizabeth Edwards is a class act, and she had the facts straight. Repbulicans had eight years to do something about healthcare, and all we got was Medicare D - a boon for the pharmaceutical companies. So step aside Tommy Thompson and the rest of the Republicans, the American people demand "real" healthcare reform, and we will get it!!

kenneth greene   August 22nd, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Larry- questions you should ask...
1-what is the cost to taxpayers to fund health care for U.S congress person or senator ?
2-why is it reasonable for health care to be provided to those in Senate /house for life ( cost per house member and family coverage )
3-why does it make sense to lose coverage for citizens if job changes or they get laid off ?
4-why are pre-existing health matters exempted for coverage – how does that improve community health ?
5-What is the purpose of health care and insurance – preventative care or catastrophic care ?

kendra shultz   August 22nd, 2009 9:25 pm ET

I am 38 years old with the medical cost growing at this rate,how will I be able to afford health insurance when I retire. How can Tom say 2500.00 a month for health insurance is reasonable. It doesn't matter what the benefits are. My mother -n-law. pays 2500.00 amonth with a 10,0000 deductible. This is ridicoulus.

kenneth greene   August 22nd, 2009 9:28 pm ET

There are medications whose aquisition costs have risen 1500x prior cost structure after implementation of medicare part D. several previously covered therapies are o longer covered w significant patient out of pocket expense.

It is not unusual to see patient w $15,000/yr annual premiums in the private markets if they have chronic health conditions . a $5,000 voucher is not of much help

Shag   August 22nd, 2009 9:31 pm ET

Just like a Republican, Thompson mentions Medicare part D as an example of how cost can be kept down by "negotiation." Well as usual, the right will stupidly be all over an issue, and wrong.
First off, righties don'w like Medicare any, they want to destroy it, so why he holds that up as a good example, I don't know why. Then he said D holds down cost by negotiating. Not only is that not true, when the Dems. wanted to add the ability to negotiate, the Repubs. shot it down.
Then you have on Bill Frist, who diagnosed Terri Schiavo from the floor of the Senate, Need I say more about him.

Shag   August 22nd, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Frist dad owned a healthcare company that was fined multi-millions of dollars for malfeasance. Of couse he's for private healthcare, he shouldn't have been on your show.

Jaron B   August 23rd, 2009 12:23 am ET

I am currently watching the show. Thanks for doing this debate. I think this is a crucial issue. I think that health care reform is necessary, and due to more support from the AHA and American people, it will happen. I do not have a solution but I want to talk about "the public option." I do not care whether this is implemented or not. However, I think that in order to lower current costs, cover more care and keep it that way, I think the public option is necessary. Please discuss this issue.

drjackworend л   December 12th, 2010 4:46 am ET

Hi guys!

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