October 14, 2009

LKL Web Exclusive: Putting a Face to the “Uninsured”

Posted: 05:12 PM ET

Dr. Oz joins Larry tonight live at 9pm ET

By Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Dr-Oz-Girl-WEB-READYTwo weeks ago, I partnered with the National Association of Free Clinics to hold what inadvertently became the largest one day free clinic in our nation’s history. I met some incredible people that day whom I will never forget and you need to meet four of them. 

Analeigha Rivera, age 14 months, has a serious heart murmur and will need aggressive care.  Anthony DeLane walked in with a severe diabetic foot ulcer and was rushed to the hospital in an attempt to save his foot. Gloria Molina lived with a heart monitor but she needed a newer cardiac pacemaker.  Steven Cantrell had a very large cancerous tumor on his bottom lip that would require complicated surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. 

These people are the “uninsured” – but they aren’t a word, a category, a cliché or a burden.  They are people.  To me they are Analeigha, Anthony, Gloria and Steven.

We picked Houston for our free clinic because it has the highest rate of people living without insurance in the nation – 27% or about 1 in every 3 residents.  The national average is a whopping 15%.

This week Congress will begin to debate an issue that tries our soul – how to provide care for the 47 million Americans living without health insurance. Opinions are plentiful – left, right, center – because this is an issue where everyone is a stakeholder in the outcome. 

I have great faith in our nation that despite the diversity of opinion on how to accomplish providing care to the uninsured, we agree on the idea that no one should die or suffer because they lack insurance.  However, I am biased as a physician, I have been looking into the eyes and hearts of sick people and their loved ones for close to 25 years. I have been telling them news of difficult diagnoses, harsh realities of the challenges they face, and I have had to deliver heartbreaking news to their loved ones.  I have seen hundreds of people over the years who would have had better outcomes if only they had insurance or better access to care.

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Don't Miss: 5 Questions for Dr. Oz

Filed under: Health • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive

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LacrosseMom   October 14th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

45,000 Americans DIE every year because they do not have healthcare!

IF 45,000 Americans were dying every year because of terrorist attacks, the GOP would be ..... outraged!

However, 45,000 Americans die because they lack healthcare and the GOP wants to continue to deny healthcare for every Americans who needs it!

99% of Americans are one medical catastrophe away from bankruptcy! You do not care about healthcare until you....... need it.

Mike   October 14th, 2009 8:48 pm ET

This is an uninformed statement. Also, there are NOT 47 million uninsured. Everyone knows how that wrong figure came about but people with an agenda keep repeating it. As for the GOP comment, ignorance makes it so easy to blame Bush again.

Frank   October 14th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

When I made $2.88 per hour I still had health insurance. I view health insurance as mandatory and not discretionary.

I see people everyday who do not have a pot to piss in........but they still have their cell phones, ipods and tattoos.

I am not responsible for the life decisions these people have made, whether good or bad. I do not owe them anything and am angry that anyone would think that I should pay for my health insurance and also someone elses.

Lucrezia   October 14th, 2009 8:52 pm ET

I wish the Republicans were more concerned about fixing the problem then about showing a unified front against their enemies, the Democrats. It seems like a little bipartisanship would be helpful here.

kimby   October 14th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

bravo LacrosseMom! the GOP doesn't care because THEY do not have to worry about health insurance. THEY get paid way too much & THEY get millions in retirement, THEY are OUT OF TOUCH

The Realist   October 14th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

Amen LacrosseMom. Now if you wouldn't mind going to your bank tomorrow and mailing the rest of your hard earned savings to the government so they can redistribute it people who don't have health insurance and refuse to work, we'll be one step closer to solving the problem of how to pay for it.

Oh, before I forget, please make sure to set aside at least 70% of your adjusted gross household income every month for taxes because we're going to need that money in the future, too.

Thanks again for your help. And God Bless America.

Maria   October 14th, 2009 8:55 pm ET

Not only the uninsured suffers. Those insured pay a high price as well. To make my point: My son, who recently graduated from college completely debt free, is now in debt, and basically broke because of health costs!! After graduation, he started a full-time job which offers health coverage, but with a high deductible. He recently had a bike accident which did not require surgery, but he had to go to the emergency care. The hospital charged him $300 for three aspirins and the equivalent of an arthroscopic surgery for "examining his broken collar bone" which had to be put in a sling. After re-checking the bill and "adjusting it for insurance rates" he still has to pay $2,500. How outrageous is that!!

Colleen   October 14th, 2009 8:58 pm ET


Would you pay for the little girl who has the heart murmur?

James   October 14th, 2009 8:59 pm ET

So how many people in the UK, France and Canada die every year with free universal healthcare? How many die because they were covered but could not get to see a doctor soon enough because of the waiting. Or the doctor was just bad?

No system is perfect and no way will everyone be 100% treated and cured just a statistical fact. Hey I am 40, don't have insurance and if something bad happens that is just the way life is. It is not fair, it is not just it is what it is.

Yea I have had things happen to me without insurance. Tweeked my knee to the point I could not walk. Was able to see an orthopedic surg. within 24 hrs had two X-Rays in office and ended up being a really bad sprain. Cost of visit was $98 in Napa Valley, Ca. I paid on the spot and thought I got a great deal and was happy. Same with eye doctors and general phys. When you pay out of pocket on the spot the prices are reasonable.

Problem is people what it all for free. Regular items should be paid out of pocket and insurance only for emergencies and sever health issues. Colds, sore throats, stitches, teeth cleaning, etc should be out of pocket. If you are not willing to spend on yourself why should an insurance company?

LMC   October 14th, 2009 9:02 pm ET

To me, it's a disgrace that a country such as ours has so many people uninsured and unable to pay for health care. Most of Europe does a better job of taking care of their own people. Even Mexico will start universal health care in January of 2010. We like to think we are better than other countries, but until we take care of our own, we might as well be a third world nation!

chris   October 14th, 2009 9:02 pm ET

An Ipod costs what ~$100 or less if used. My health insurance costs my family ~$800 per month plus all the copays and deductables and uncovered expenses, like tubing for an asthma treatemtn at the hospital (??). You cannot compare these things. Also, I don't think that the 14 month old has much say. Should the child be denied coverage if her parents don't have the money to pay ... and be allowed to die. Are you (we) willing to have that on your conscience? I'm not.

Alexia   October 14th, 2009 9:02 pm ET

I have not had insurance for over 6 years. I have a cardic problem that I cannot address and am disabled in great pain every day. I have no savings to pay for medical expenses. So I do not go to the doctor. If I have an emergency, hospital is not an option. IF i did I would lose my housing trying to pay the bill. I would choose to just die. That is the true face of those of us living without basic insurance. We are hard working, and good people, just living without affordable health care. My hope is that the Health Care bill will pass, and I will finally live in a country that cares about its citizens. Europe has perfected health care for all citizens, why not the good old USA? People that are agaiinst this, should try living without insurance and being ill.

Jeff   October 14th, 2009 9:02 pm ET

I agree with Frank. However I think the problem is rather elementary and the government once again has made this way too complicated.

Remove the "pre-existing" clause in all insurance plans. Allow all insurance firms to compete equally across all 50 states and mandate tort reform.

Removing the "pre-existing" clause allows people to have insurance this may eliminate a lot of those who are uninsured. Allowing all insurance firms to compete equally across all 50 states will drop premimums. They are not allowed to now. Finally tort reform, by putting a ceiling on lawsuits this will lower premiums on malpractice and will allow Doctors to stop ordering excessive duplicating extra tests to protect the bottom side.

Lydia   October 14th, 2009 9:03 pm ET

Its good to know that there are some people still willing to help there fellow man.

Nan   October 14th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

i find it so frustrating how "free" canadian medicare is being portrayed in the media by american politicians. please understand that no one here is "turned away" no one is kept waiting for months for critical treatment...i had a father who was diagnosed with a large abdoninal aortic aneurysm, had surgery 2 days later, and it cost him nothing,,,,and a nephew who is battling his second brain tumour in 20 years...and the surgery and hospitaliztion is costing his family nothing. the word pre-existing is not in the vocabulary of the canadian health care system
i cannot imagine how a family must feel hearing of a life threatening diagnosis and the agony not knowing if they must sacrifice their very home to keep their loved one alive. i could not live in a country that allowed for that to even be a remote possibility!!!

Nunya   October 14th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

I am sorry, but my eyes rolled to the back of my head when he said "Only when you get a sense of what it must be like for little Analeigha’s mother Victoria to look at her five children and not be able to take them to a doctor can you then grasp what our obligations are as a country"
How did she have FIVE kids without healthcare?! & Wow, what about her OBLIGATIONS as a parent to provide for her child(ren) and to be responsible if she cannot take afford any more.
Really, people?! Really?! I feel for the children & I don't begrudge them healthcare, but they are probably eligible for Medicaid or some other SCHIP program.
How can he even fathom that this was not through "any fault" of Victoria's own (& the father or fathers, as the case may be).

Ashveen Dhillon   October 14th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

I don't think those little kids mentioned should suffer with their conditions-regardless of whether their parents made stupid decisions or not. Yes, there are some who put their cars before their health, but to claim that everyone who lacks coverage is at fault is ridiculous. That's generalizing millions into one category.

Nunya   October 14th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Oh yeah, Europe takes great care of their people....Did you not read the CNN article yesterday where their leading hospital was performing lung transplants with lungs from SMOKERS (with cancer)....Nice! I will take America's healthcare any day.

Jason Glugla   October 14th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

The people who are against healthcare for everyone should be ashamed of themselves. The Republicans stir the fear of those in whom it is easy to stir as they take their payoffs from the insurance companies. Those people who are so proud as they wave the flag, should give 1 moment of thought to the 45,000 dying in this country every year simply so a profit can be made. I wonder if they would be so proud if the executives at Haliburton calculated the profit that they are making off of each death in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was a time when it was criminal to profit off of war, back when Franklin Roosevelt led this nation through 16 years of the most troubled times it has ever faced. But then Roosevelt is nothing but a joke to the current heroes of the Republican party like Rush Limbaugh who managed to get himself out of going to Vietnam and managed to get out of going to jail for illegal prescriptions.

Liz   October 14th, 2009 9:10 pm ET

I work hard and I pay all my bills. I am angry that these politicians could have the audacity to suggest a "mandatory health insurance" bill for all Americans! Why should I have to pay thousands more dollars to insure other people who do not take care of themselves like I do? I want to go on a nice vacation every year, not pay that money to the government!! Give me something to work for. That is the problem with the people with their hand out, they have given up because it is easier to be a welfare case. That is what is dragging everybody down. If a person truly has a medical problem there are options for them, there is charity care and Medicaid and if nothing else they can get the best care possible and then file bankruptcy. The federal government cannot run anything responsibly as they have proven with Medicare, Social Security and the post office. The Democrats are socialists and Obama is their ringleader. Whatever he wants they all hurry to please him and nobody bothers to see what the impact of all this wil be.

Tim   October 14th, 2009 9:11 pm ET

Last I checked health care wasn't a right. No where in the Constitution is health care guarented. Federal Government health care would be unconstitutional. That would be something the states could do. The federal government hasn't done Indian and Va health care right, and we want to trust them with everyone's. The American People have lost their minds if we let the US government do it!!!!! We need to help the child, but the others need to goto charity for help.

joe   October 14th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

I am a physician and I agree with Jeff.

MadGuy   October 14th, 2009 9:13 pm ET


Why is it a problem that people die?

Also, Google lacrosse injuries and find: "NEISS is a surveillance system that collects injury-related data from a nationally representative sample of 100 US emergency departments (EDs). This study estimated that 85,000 children presented to the ED for lacrosse-related injuries from 1990 through 2003" If people stopped playing lacrosse altogether then more money would be available to treat the uninsured. Why do you continue?

Tens of thousands of healthy, insured people, die every year from car accidents to. Shouldn't something be done about that.

Tens of thousands die, even with the best medical care money can buy because they are stupid and smoke, drink, become obese, etc. Shouldn't we attack the low hanging fruit first to save the health care system? IE let evolution handle the idiots first (deny them care) so that there is more money available in the system for us smart people?

I say all people who smoke (or have smoked) should be denied health care of any type (except access to morphine). Why should I pay for them? I'm all for every resident of Kentucky and North Carolina (or other states) where tobacco is grown being denied entry into a national health system for that reason alone.

JJ   October 14th, 2009 9:13 pm ET

I would agree with you 100 percent, if I didn't know a lot of people who are considered "uninsurable" by insurance companies because of things beyond their control. Consider the story over the weekend of the 4-month-old infant who was denied coverage because he was considered "obese." How absurd is that?

How do you blast someone who doesn't have insurance because he or she can't get it? I know a lot of people who are self employed or work for smaller businesses that can't provide group coverage, so they must get it on their own. These same people are WILLING to pay, but can't get an insurance company to cover them. These are the faces of uninsured that too few reporters actually talk about; therefore, many in this nation think people just don't want to pay for it out of their own pockets.

I completely agree that health insurance should be considered mandatory and that people should be willing to pay for their far share, but we need to get health insurance companies under control so that people can do that.

Thomas   October 14th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I'm one of those people without health insurance, by a combination of choice and necessity. Being self employed and living in the state of Maine options are limited. The state has enacted so many laws that most insurers have left. When I investigated the state plan, Dirigo Health, supposedly a cost effective plan, the cost to me was quoted as only $18,000.00 per year. I dropped insurance when it was costing me $12,000.00 per year. I'm not sure how the state considers their number affordable.
Most importantly if the state allowed me to purchase insurance anywhere in the country I could, once again, have health insurance as I could buy it for a fraction of the cost from many other places in the country.
Fixing insurance is no easy task but the last one I want involved is the government. Just take a look at the US Postal Service, Social Security, and Medicare. The post office needs a massive infusion of dollars to survive, and the other two are essentially bankrupt. I should believe the government is going to do something without massive tax increases? Give me a break, there is no such thing as cost savings with the government.
Lastly, I suggest LacrosseMom do a little research into the numbers and who is at fault.

Diana   October 14th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

There are more than 47 million without insurance with young adults representing the largest group.
As for Frank I have a cell phone, no tattoos, no Ipod either. I do have Breast Cancer. I lost my insurance after my treatment ended. Dumped.

I work but the cost of living vs. my paycheck leaves no room for insurance even if I could find a company that would cover me.

And if I did it would be about $1000.00 a month.

So Frank count yourself lucky because the world has changed. We all pay for someone else anyway. Every time an uninsured person used the ER, gets treatment, etc. .. You pay for it. Taxes. Yes your taxes....your insurance premiums, etc. So if more and more people can not afford health insurance, your premiums will go up.

Frank I invite you to never pay taxes again... That way none of us would have to know about what you think about us and your judgments of us.

I don't like to think of all the wasted money in this country either. But I am different than you because I will not victimize people who are not as well off as I am. I am able to work again but at a reduced rate.

I now have my health but no insurance. Let's face it. Cancer kills your economic stability. Survive the cancer, drown in debt.

Lightsinger   October 14th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

I don't know the exact figure for uninsureds in this country, but you have to add in all those who are under-insured to get a real feel for what's going on. A friiend of mine lost her husband to an accident last year that left him burned over 70% of his body. He got the best care possible at a burn unit. His insurance company paid $2 million dollars for his care. Unfortunately, the cost of his care was $6 million dollars for two months of intensive care. Try to imagine paying off $6 million dollars in your lifetime. The hospital sued his widow for the balance, they took her home, her infant son's college fund...they took everything and they will continue to take everything for the rest of her life. This illness has destroyed the lives of a woman and her small son, and what choice did they make that was wrong? What lifestyle decision left this woman not only a widow but indebted to a hospital for $4 million dollars? The idea that these things only happen to people who somehow deserve it is a cruel joke.

Mom in VA   October 14th, 2009 9:18 pm ET

I lived w/o health insurance for 6 years because I was self employed and could not afford the premiums. I went to the doctor once for a womanly check up and had to pay out of pocket. The cost was no where near $98 more like 2.5x's that! So medical costs are not the same and some people simply can not afford to pay the premiums nor pay out of pocket for care. I was and still am a hard working individual. I was not a person "who refused to work"! I decided to get a 9-5 mainly because I needed the insurance and guess what – it took me over 10 months to find a job.

So to label people as lazy and say that is why they don't deserve insurance is rediculous. I thought realist dealt with reality.

Lisa   October 14th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

The idea that those without insurance lack insurance because they refuse to work is absurd. I am a 32 year old woman with a Ph.D. who teaches over the equivalent of full time, yet my job is not benefit eligible. I currently get insurance through my partner who has a full time job. I recently tried to apply for private insurance. I'm healthy, active, etc. But my underactive thyroid and allegeries would make me uninsurable. I'm thankful for my current insurance. Although I currently have insurance, I could very easily be without it if my circumstances change.

Kay   October 14th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

I commend Dr. Oz for lending his face and voice to those who are otherwise overlooked.

I know numerous individuals who are without insurance, despite being hardworkers who have spent years in their occupations. Insurance should not be a luxury, it should be a right. No child should ever be without insurance and no adult should either.

To live everyday with fear of getting ill or injured is not living at all. Aren't we supposed to America – "the land of opportunities"? How can anyone have opportunities if they are living without health care?

Take the Politics out of it, it's a human right.

Little Sherez   October 14th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

Why should I pay for other folks health coverage? No one pays
anything for me. I make 60K per year, pay my taxes and I get by.
No fancy cars, no fancy house, no fancy nothing. I really resent this.

Thomas   October 14th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Jeff you hit the nail on the head! Begin the process with the simplest most obvious solutions, not thousands of pages of government garbage. Too bad no one in congress has that much intelligence.

Ron   October 14th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

I don't care what they say. I like the idea of a National Healthcare system. Canadian, English, Norway's Sweden all have the best systems. That should be one of the first "benefits" as a citizen of the US. We are one of or we were one of the richest countries in the world and we Refuse to give our citizens basic health care. I don't mind paying taxes when I get something out of it. Defense is about the only good thing we get from taxes( Our Military is the best in the world). The Government can't even work together on a single bill half the time. Well I take that back, yeah they can. To give themselves pay raises and Free Healthcare. I don't understand it we pay for their healthcare, but we aren't entitle to the same.

Mona   October 14th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

The U.S. sends billions of dollars to other countries for healthcare. Charity organizations such as Doctors Without Borders treats millions of patients outside of the U.S. If all the money and all the charity were spent in the U.S. we wouldn't be having this discussion. Take care of America first. If American is "empty" so shall the rest of the world follow!

JD   October 14th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Universal Healthcare sounds great and it would work a vacuum! It is impossible to overhaul something as big as healthcare ( 12% of our economy) without either bankrupting the nation or prolonging this recession.

Healthcare needs to be fixed, plain and simple. Tweaking laws will work and allow the nation to still pay for it without taking 50% of your gross income for taxes.

Drop the preexisting condition clause, allow for interstate competition to drive down prices (see geico and car insurance) and have some sort of tort reform to stop defensive medicine (which would be a huge cost savings)

The best medical care (in the world) for 85% of people in the country is better than run of the mill care for 100% of the country.

Greg   October 14th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

This is great, I'm glad that a guy with his own TV show can finally get some attention.

How about the rest of the world who's making a difference? Way to be lazy Larry, find a real story. There are millions of people out there whose stories are waiting to be told and you focus on a guy who's been on Oprah for years and has his own TV show!

Chris   October 14th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

Thank you, Dr Oz for bringing the voice of compassion into the discussion. If people really looked uninsured individuals in the eye and actually saw their individual suffering, heard their stories, I'm sure most of them would feel differently.

It's so sad to read the comments here along the lines of "Toughen up and take care of yourself." It will be a very sad day when they experience that kind of treatment for themselves.

James : Your sprained knee and other minor health problems are not what Dr Oz is referring to. It's true– many people can easily pay for those things out of pocket. But iIf you had a disease like the one I have, where a single drug costs $7,000 per month, I'm sure you wouldn't feel so confident in your ability to pay. (And no, my illness is not the result of poor diet, smoking, etc...) I got sick when I was 40, completely out of the blue. You're 40– don't think it can't happen to you.

saidapet   October 14th, 2009 9:36 pm ET


I sincerely thank you for this 'Uninsured' presentation, please hopefully you could run a series like this. People say 80% of the people are happy with their insurance, so does it mean it is OK to have other 20% die, why politicians rigid with their idealogy are killing people.

Please continue with series like this

drlovesjesus   October 14th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

Not a big fan of the Republican attack machine – its senseless and a waste – but I think Jeff has hit it on the nail – take away the pre-existing clause, let insurance companies compete across the board, and implement tort reform – its our only hope. For those who are ignorantly writing about them working hard and why should they pay for others – dont assume that those who are uninsured are unemployed – they are working and working hard but many employers dont provide them with health insurance ( and no – its not because small businesses cant afford to – some cases yes but thats not the case for all of the uninsured).
Very Un-Christian like to dismiss other humans like that or even to suggest that because that little girl has 4 siblings and what were her parents thinking – let her suffer. I am a conservative and used to be a Republican but the more and more hate is spewing out of the right – the more the Left keeps pushing their agenda and gaining ground.

GCB   October 14th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

We need more doctors just like Dr. Oz. He is such a caring man.

luis aisa   October 14th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

Everyone in this country should have free health insurance, lots of money wasted in other things.

Chris   October 14th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Thomas : Medicare and Social Security are not "essentially bankrupt.." You really need to do your research (as you suggest LacrosseMom should do) before you make exaggerated comments.

True, both Medicare and Social Security cannot sustain themselves in the future without modifications, but that is a far cry from bankrupt. There is time to make the changes. The sky isn't falling.

Also, you don't mention your age, but if you're anywhere near 65, you can help the system you resent by refusing your Social Security and Medicare coverage.

teresa lindsey   October 14th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Here in NC the uninsured can get medicaid insurance from social services which is a type of health insurance. Their benefits are better than what I get through my insurance company and they don't pay a monthly premium. Do all states have medicaid insurance? Thanks, Teresa

Kathi   October 14th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Dr. Oz and Mr. King,
I just came across your show three minutes ago. Please be aware that in many states, including Michigan, where I live, NO CHILDREN under 18 years, go without care. All children are eligible for some sort of coverage depending upon their individual situations. Michigan takes care of all of our children. No child here needs to be uninsured or go without preventive care or treatment. Kathi in Michigan

Wendy, Ontario, Canada   October 14th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

God bless Dr. Oz & others who are trying to give their time to save lives. As a Canadian I have been disgusted with the ads running in the U.S claiming our system is a failure & you should fight against
reform. Shame on those who are misleading your citizens. Our system may not be perfect, sometimes we wait for non essential surgeries & tests BUT we are NEVER denied health care. We can walk into any Doctor's office in this country & be treated for free. Sad that the republicans are putting politics ahead of the well being of Americans. I hope people do their own research & not believe all the nonsense & fear tactics being used by those who want Obama to fail. If Obama fails, so do many people who will continue to die without health care.

Irene   October 14th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

So if the government takes over it will all be OK? Want a preview of how well it will work? Look at tricare. It's the insurance for the military. When I was serving, they regularly sent us back to work with strep throat and no antibiotics. There were no MRIs for joint injuries. The military would discharge you before treating. Now you are out in the real world with no job or insurance with an injury. Service members would go out into town and pay out-of-pocket for basic care because military was not available or so bad it was scary. Don't even get me started on how the vets are treated with regard to combat injuries and PTSD. See how the government treats those who give the most? How well will it treat everyone else?

kim   October 14th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

Outside looking in from Canada. We've had universal health care since the 60's. What the big deal ? If is is socialist to provide health care to people who need it. .. then a democracy needs to be socialist on this one issue, plain and simple. Republicans are about green and selfishness and looking out for number 1... and closing their eyes to thos cut off health care insurance when they are actually sick.
They are all about kickbacks and kissing butt and listening to the all mighty lobbyist dollar jingle around in their collective purses while others suffer needlessly. Democrats on the other hand are caring, unselfish and feel that government has a role to play in making sure people are not treated like cannon fodder by druig companies and health insurance giants. It is beyond me, why it is legal in the U.S. for insurance companies to cut people off health insurance just when they need it most...during a catastrophic illness. People pay premiums for years fatihfully in hopes of having health care when its required... only to find out the some idiot found a fine print legal loophole in a policy. I can speak with a bit of experience. I had an uncle who lived in Florida for 5 months of every year. He had a heart condition, then a few heart attacks...then he got cut off his U.S. coverage and had to come home for the full year until he died. He paid his premiums... he deserved coverage...but hey he got sick so to hell with him I guess. Cant be having policy holders getting sick now can we....that cost money...that will cut into the bottom line...that will lower my golden parachute. WHY is it not a crime to cut people off health care, who pay health insurance premiums faithfully. Why is it not a crime for insurance companies to raise premiums out of reach of the average person if the get sick? It boggles the mind.
Our health care system has been trashed by your right wing retards(sorry actual retards)... for a long time now. Let me tell you all. It is not perfect... but it works pretty well. No one goes bankrupt due to illness. No one gets cut off when they need health care. We have quality NOT believe the BS the republican spue about this issue. Stop the madness... stop bankruptsies due to hospital and doctor bills... stop treating people like sheep !
Stop the greed. Just look at unregulated Wall street and the lost investments of so many innocent retired people. Just look at the fat cat insuance executives laughing as they cut poor little kids off health care and let them die. People ask....why should I be responsible for someone elses halth care woes... why...because if you have a friggin soul you should get off your GREED bandwagon and give a damn about the little people. Do not believe the constant BS lies on republican backed commercials againt univeral health care. Universal health care....Will it cost money...yes it will... will it save money and lives..yes it will... will is be perfect it wont... but I for one am tired of hearing heartbreaking stories about average families being driven into bankruptsy and sometimes homelessness simply becuase the health insurance industry is unregulated. Do you want what happened to wall street and the world economy to continue... do you like it when lobbyist and lwayers with more money than fort knox prevent the population from obtaining this one essential need?
Get real people... I would gladly pay a bit more tax each paycheck and be sure that I cant be cut off health care when its required. Yes I said TAX... TAX people... ooooo... such and evil thing TAX... but here in Canada it has given us the freedom to live a life without fear of losing everything just becasue some knot head decides I was sick in nope I dont get the lung transplant. Instead I get death Socialism.... sounds so scary ehn its repeated over and over and coupled with images of hitler and Stalin.
Bottom line repulcican are just plaiun evil from my vantage point here in the great white north. I hope and pray AMERICA comes to its senses on this issue. Michael Moores film Sicko is no lie folks. It is no left wing Socialist ploy people... that film is bang on TRUE !
WAke UP ! Kim... in Ontario.

kim   October 14th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

previous note should say greed not the fourth sentence

Teri in New Jersey   October 14th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

First, to Liz – you already are paying for probably millions of people to have coverage. Your municipal workers, elected officials, police, teachers and some others. I believe we should pay for all serving military but that's about it. None of those others pay anything towards their coverage. 100 percent covered by taxes. They do have a small copay when they see a doctor or pick up a prescription. Also some way or another we do pay extra to cover the uninsured who get emergency treatment. Maybe it wouldn't be an emergency if they were able to be proactive in their health care through insurance. Also, the above mentioned employees have no one overseeing their health habits. They smoke, drink, eat too much, have as many kids as they want. Don't think that only uninsured are unhealthy. We only hear about the extremes. And I'll bet dollars to donuts that if this bill gets past there will be an overwhelming amount of people coming out initially. But it will calm down. The Republicans will have a field day with it though. Any chance they get to be critical. Not really part of the solution. In a perfect world.....

Brenda Carey   October 14th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Gosh, the sarcasm is almost as bad as the fight of the "parties". Why don't we address real issues. Healthcare sucks whether you can afford it or not. The insurers rip us of (as a provider, they pay have the rate charged contractually). As a consumer, I pay more than my mortgage and a few other bills combined to make sure that I don't loose my very small home if someone in my family of four needs surgery. The pharmaceutical companies and insurers have raised my premiums for four – 400 per month to 1300 per month and if you think we have any extra for perhaps a home we don't trip over each other in – we don't. We are blessed enough to be able to afford, by the skin of our teeth, the premiums, but do not have the ability to plan for this future that is being taken away as well (SS?).

Why don't we get over ourselves and find a way that not only the rich can afford coverage and still have a night out from time to time. I've watched and helped the poor and those who fight for our country be treated horrifically because of health insurance (reservists...). One young girl was sent home from the hospital at four lbs because her mom didn't have insurance. Six weeks later, she spent six months in the hospital dealing with the repurcussions of that error and now eats through an implanted tube in her stomach, can't walk and didn't get enough oxygen from the second she came out – standard testing. she's ten now and dealing with severe cerebal palsy. You can't be serious when you say that your hard work should not help others have an option. You are one step away from your employer deleting that benefit from your perks and let's see if your tune changes. It's time to pull together and not repeat history and segregate. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.

DRO   October 14th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

I pose this question as Devil's Advocate: The 14 month old in the story, supposing her birth defect is genetically inherited and she will most likely pass this on to her children who will require treatment as well and so forth and so on... where do we draw the line? What ever happened to the survival of the fittest? Are we going to degrade our genetic stock to the point that we spend millions of dollars on the physically inferior who require care far exceeding the needs of the majority? Is 10,000 too much to spend? What about a million? 10 million? Is being a "Civilized society" necessitate the disproportionate allocation of resources on the weak and infirm? When are we going to see that our compassion and empathy can be our weakness?

Michelle   October 14th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

You people all keep missing the point. The healthcare bill is for middle class people, working people. The poor have medicaid and nothing to lose, like their house and savings. The govt workers all have insurance paid for by us, (the tax payers), the elderly have medicare. The rich have insurance and money. When people making $40,0000 more or less can not afford insurance and get sick, they will lose everything they ever saved for. That includes all of us who are laid off, especially between 55-65. We will lose everything we ever saved in order to try to get well. Our children who are not in college but are between 18-24, are our responsibility, if they get a serious illness, we are toast. How do you choose between your life savings and your child's life? Only the middle class has something to lose and Obama is trying to help US!

Ron   October 14th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I know we spend more on healthcare then any other country and we get nothing for it. When we were in Iraq(still are) we made sure that they had healthcare, but it's an evil thing here. Also I understand that people don't want to pay for other who don't pay, but the end result is basically the same. Those people who don't work will get jobs and they will put in just as equally as the people who work. Lets face it Nothing is free. I blame the government, but I also blame Insurance companies too, they are a profit based corporation of course they don't want to pay out if they don't have too.
And a Thank you to Wendy from Ontario, Canada. For Telling the truth. The government mostly Republicans(sorry the way I see it) are trying to SCARE the people into believing Canada's healthcare sinks! Actually the republicans and all the ones who are trying to scare the public should be shame of themselves and Should Not be in public office. They are looking out for themselves.

Common Sense   October 14th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

It is so easy to place blame on the GOP. Whenever you point the finger you are hoping not to look at yourself. Let me explain.
1) Obama spoke about getting a single payer health care while running for president.
2) Obama has a majority Congress and does not need a single GOP vote to get it.
3) Obama still can not get it passed/
Why? It does not matter how many promises he makes. See the argument is not what Obama promises it is instead what he delivers.
He promised health care. Didnt happen.
He promised to close Gauntomono bay. Still opened!!!!
He Promise be get out of Iraq. ? Nope
See I am for a great health care closing a torture chamber and even getting out of this war. So of course I like what is said but once again it is not happened and at no fault of the GOP. He has a Majority congress and can get whatever he wants if his own party would allow him to. By the way I would rather have someone who tells me he is torturing terrorist and not lie than having a president who say torture is not acceptable but then send those same people to another country where they are tortured.
So to all you GOP haters your war is not with us but within your own party. The blame lies with all of you if u cant get it done. But you will spin it because like I said before you point the finger to take the attention of of you!!!!

Chris   October 14th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

I swear, if I hear one more American talk about the evil socialist Canadian Health Care System, I'm going to snap. This isn't about Care, or even about your health. Lots of people being very sick has proved very profitable for some sectors of American interest and they are not going down without a fight. A big one.

My father worked very hard when he was able, and when he got sick with Crohn's he was in hospital for stays and procedures that would have had us all on the streets were we to have lived in 'The Land of the Home and the Brave'.

With all due respect to my American friends, you can take your profiteering masquarading as fiscal conservatism, your simplistic political theories that portay everything as right wing and left wing, and cram them straight into your ignorance.

By the way feel free to visit Canada. It's a nice place. What's more if you slip and hit your head we'll try and help you even if you are a poor actuarial risk.

William Thacker   October 14th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Having a viable public option is the only way that we will not be bankrupting this country in a few years, Health care costs are now rising at three time inflation, The Baucus Bill will not reduce our costs but it will bring billion in additional profits to healthcare industry.
We rank in number 37 in the quality of healthcare – Germany, Denmark and France, and other countries that are near the top of the list for quality of care, pay half or less than we do. I have lived is two countries in europe and from my experience, I would much rather have their care than ours.

You   October 14th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

I thought the US had universal healthcare? You mean people in the states can be TURNED DOWN even if they need some medical treatment?

CHM   October 14th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Wendy, Ontario, Canada--it's not all Republicans who oppose some of the healthcare changes that are being proposed. It is some Republicans, some Democrats and some independents. It's wonderful that American companies can develop all the drugs that you get for fee or nearly free. If our healthcare functions like yours, who will develop these drugs?

roy burril   October 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Thank you Dr. Oz. You are a great human being and a great American.

John Hoehn   October 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Is it possible to even have a civil and compromising interaction in the US? Can people communicate on a subject as important and fundamental as health care without polarizing into the usual left right BS? If everyone thinks alike, no one needs to think.

Gayle   October 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

I am so sad about the 18 month old girl with the heart murmer. However, why is her mother have 5 children that she can't support and pay for health insurance? There is no reason why she could not prevent having children she can't support along with her husband.

Why should I pay for her childlren's health insurance? When I loose my job or home who is going to pay for me? I am 57 years old. I have worked all my life since I was 10 years old.

I am sick and tired of all these people who aren' t responsible and I have to pick up the tab! This has got to stop NOW!

transition woman   October 14th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

I have read and listened and had enough. If we could just eliminate the insurance companies and pay for small out of pocket things like xrays and eye glasses, I would be all for it. But as a divorced woman going to school after 30 years, I am unable to afford the medication I need to help keep my diabetes undercontrol. I have been able to get along with generic meds and diet but if I have a health crisis, I'm screwed. I must get through school to get a decent enough job so that I can hopefully pay for my medical needs. OH, wait!!! I can't be insured, I'm obese, have diabetes, a heart condition, and I'm menapausal. I'm 50 years old, I tried to take care of myself, yet I'm going to be punished because I made a bad choice for a husband, I've only been married once, and now that I'm trying to get my life turned around, I'm going to be denied the proper health care that my doctor and I see fit for my needs. Not everyone is a welfare mom that does nothing but screw around. Not everyone is a drug addict that uses and not gives back. And not everyone wants to be in a position where they can't take care of themselves. Not everyone qualifies for a medical card, I don't have a minor child. Not all areas have charity available and I'm in no position to move. I just hope that those that want to deny help for those of us that need it are never in the same position. Because they will whine for the help they can't get either. What is it going to take for this country to see that some kind of change needs to be made. Before it all comes falling down.

larry   October 14th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Personally I do not mind the idea of some of my taxes going to pay for free health care for everyone.Its a much better thing that buying yet another missile to go kill people with.BTW I live in the US and I am an American but grew up in the UK Everything is really great in The US except the health care system which is really bad! it needs reform and a health care system like the UK.You would all really appreciate not being told by the insurance company that you cant be treated anymore or going bankrupt from medical bills! Wake up! Its your future and our childrens future on the line here! Dont be fooled into thinking your employer provided health care is perfect and untouchable wise up NOW!

Kelly   October 14th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

I am a physician, and I also agree with Jeff & Joe as an excellent solution to many, but not all, of the issues.

howie   October 14th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

Try reading the article.They use smoker's lungs in transplants in this country too.LOVE YOUR COUNTRY HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT!!!

Jane   October 14th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

To Liz: Do you realize how many people who "work hard and pay all my (their) bills" have had their health care coverage yanked out from under them because they lost their job? Do you realize how many people can't get coverage because of so-called preexisting conditions dreamed up by the greedy health care industry? Do you think that the health care industry's model of continually charging healthy, middle class people exhorbitant rates year after year can continue? Have you or any member of your immediate family ever had cancer, a chronic illness, a car accident, a job loss, a mental health problem, a sick child, a hospitalization. All of these things have happened to "healthy" people, and I'm sure many of them have cost the families thousands of dollars and pushed them into bankruptcy, or worse. These are not "welfare cases"; they are people just like you who want to know that a sudden need for care through no fault of their own won't tear their lives apart and destroy their families. So if you have been fortunate enough to never have had to experience the heartbreak and ruin that these people have experienced, then you must be the luckiest person on the planet. I hope you have a boatload of money saved up just in case you need it for, say, chemotherapy, or an emergency room visit. As for the rest of us regular folk with the only crummy health coverage we can afford (better than nothing), we just cross our fingers and hope nothing happens to us. But something always happens sooner or later, even to people like you...enjoy all your vacations, and don't drink the water, or you may end up in the hospital. Oh, I forgot, you already have plenty of money earmarked for that...

Officer   October 14th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

Simple solution: outlaw insurance companies. 100% garantee that prices will go down like a stone.

Imagine that you will need to buy furniture throught insurance. Many of you will sleep on air matrasses or on a 1/2 of a mattress or denied it because you sleep too much .. you got an idea?

I am for free market, but government (us) must own (cover) basics: defence, education, health care and energy.

Wendy, Ontario, Canada   October 14th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

CHM like I said before, do your research. Canada does develop drugs & alot of money goes into research here. Nobody said your healthcare should be the same as our's but don't claim our system doesn't work when you clearly don't have the facts.

Brandon   October 14th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Well, first we should try and see whose interests are being served.
Medicare-big windfall to the pharmaceutical companies, seniors can't afford drugs that are too expensive, so we tax the rest of america to help pay for them, in fact, pharma wrote the legislation for medicare, which is why it was voted on at 3am, so c-span would not show you the arm twisting that was going on. Research and development, commonly cited as a reason for high drug cost, is being done by american universities and small biotech startups as well as the nih. Drug companies use the alleged high cost of its r and d as blackmail to the american people; we spend all this money, so pay us all of yours, or you won't receive treatment.
Health insurance industry, mandates are a favorite of this group, more profits, less care. Obama already agreed to not negotiate drug prices, which the rest of the world already does, so why not be kind to the insurers, I mean, they did finance your campaign. I just don't think it is ethical to take away peoples healthcare dollar and use it as profit.
Republicans love insurers, and they do not want a public option.
Democrats also love insurers, which is why they also don't want a public option, and which is why there will not be one. Big pharma does not want negotiated drug prices which will inevitably come if there is a public option.
The solution, single payer, non-profit health insurance, that way the government pays, but does not administer.

CHM   October 14th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Wendy-–and you, please don't act like you know all the facts about America. Don't take it so personally; I am sure you have said many times in your life that you wouldn't want this or that like we have it here. Get over it.

Ron   October 14th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

I agree it isn't just Republicans, but it is the majority of Republicans. I only heard of Snowe going in on the healthcare with the Democrats. I just want them to answer. Why are we being denied the Same coverage they enjoy? And I'm not an expert on the government, but I'm pretty sure once they leave office they Keep their cushy insurance package. I don't know why we're all in an uproar about it anyway it's not going to help us whatsoever. It's going to help government, healthcare, and the insurance companies.

Robert Prath   October 14th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Your guest is in error. The Baucus healthcare bill does not cut doctor;s fees. It cancels fee cuts scheduled for 2011. Please check it out

Kevin   October 14th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

I read these comments and am amazed at the heartless, selfish comments from those from the "right". (not even going to mention their bad grammar and spelling...(well, maybe just for the record))

So, you want your vacation, but are willing to watch your neighbor die in order to achieve your goal? So? Wow, what a human being. I should bring up MY children to be just like you?

Come on people...In God We Trust, right? Unless, of course, it threatens you vacation plans. Your children should be ashamed of you!

Yes, I work hard too. I work hard to provide the best for my family. I work hard to see that my community prospers. I work hard to ensure that our Nation (under God) achieves it's mandate to be the Greatest Institution on this planet. I'll also work hard to ensure that my neighbor, be he next door, or across the lands, need ever die due to selfish basta*ds like you.

If that makes me a Socialist, then so be it. At least I HAVE a social conscience...

Michelle   October 14th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

You know what's really pathetic? The politicians have conned ordinary Americans into thinking that anyone with an opposing viewpoint is the enemy. How did we get to this point? We argue over the scraps that Congress deigns to give us, yet I don't see a single one of them worrying about making ends meet. Why should they work to end the recession? It doesn't affect them. Why should they work together to get good health care for all Americans? They already have a good health care plan. They can sit and do whatever they like, and we all get into petty, ridiculous arguments every time they throw out a sound byte. It's disgusting.

Sheri E.   October 14th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

Yes, some people cheat the system (i.e., don't work and still get benefits of some sort), but that doesn't mean an entire system shouldn't exist just because of the few bad apples who abuse it. Does private or public school go out the window because some kid cheated on a test and didn't face any consequences? Of course not.

Even undocumented immigrants (or "aliens," as the so-called Christians call them) should have access to quality and affordable healthcare. And yes–I'd pay for it, gladly. I want to know that whether here legally or not, the person sitting next to me on the bus or who used the shopping cart before me can be treated if need be–I'm talking preventive care here.

Unfortunately, the God crowd has subsituted religion for science. Perhaps we could get about the business of curing things so that people wouldn't be so strapped by health problems, and the God crowd could relieve itself of the hollow and false notion of being "pro-life."

A civilized society costs money. All of this whining about "I'm paying for me and mine only" is a sure sign of stupidity. Tell you what: Run for office and openly campaign on the belief that no matter what, everyone pays for their own whatever: healthcare, school, police and fire personnel, road and bridge work, trash service, etc., etc., etc.

Yes–run on THAT ticket.

CHM   October 14th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

Ron, I agree with you. I have a friend who was a flight attendant in the military for a few years (not a life-long career, as she spent her last 27 years in the same company I am in) and she has insurance as a retiree from the military that pays everything after Medicare. A lot of people in government type jobs have the best coverage.

Tony   October 14th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

It is a shame to allow Health Insurance companies to dictate a health choices of Americans. It should be the right of all Americans to have access to the basic health care and not to be bankrupt in the process.
It is mandatory to have a car insurance, why not health insurance? What's more important?

FredInNH   October 14th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

People who know better are using people who should know better to convince those who don't know better to block access to health care for those who can't afford it.

Michelle   October 14th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

Kim from Ontario – all I can say is, right on, sister! I am so tired of hearing people getting indignant about paying for someone else's health care. That's how the system works in our country. You help people that can't help themselves, and then when you get down on your luck, unemployed, sick, old – the rest of us take care of you. (And don't be so naive to think that it won't happen to you. It happens all the time.) People have no problem handing money to Congress to blow on crooked military contractors and basically anything else they want, but they gripe and complain when it comes to taking care of our own. I wish more Americans had your attitude.

Michelle   October 14th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

The Republicans against universal healthcare represent, themselves and the insurance company. Not the middle class, not the people of the US. They represent business interests only. Why their "base" thinks they speak for them, totally baffles me. We have many insurance companies competing in New Jersey, my sister and brother in law pay $1200 per month for their insurance. I don't know about you, but if I get laid off "again", I can't afford $1200 per month.
Insurance company profits have risen 500% in the last 10 yrs.

KLS   October 14th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

MadGuy, you sound like one of the "low hanging" fruit that should be denied coverage. You consider yourself one of the "smart people" but can't even use the correct too in your comments – something you should have learned in third grade. More troubling to me than your inadequate mastery of elementary school curricula are your thoughts that whole state populations should be denied coverage because of an agricultural product.

I am not sure how health care should be reformed, but I am pretty sure that I don't want to see a system enacted where coverage is denied to anyone (including the residents of Kentucky and North Carolina).

Marcia-Pennsylvania   October 14th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

LacrosseMom.....You are 100% correct. Even Republicans have had to go bankrupt because of illness. The GOP/Insurance Industry doesn't care one iota what happens to Americans. The GOP in Pennsylvania has lost 230,000 registered voters since 2004.....wonder why??
This former Republican, now Independent.........says PUSH PUBLIC OPTION AND SCREW THE GOP/INSURANCE INDUSTRY, MR. PRESIDENT!!!

Michelle   October 14th, 2009 10:12 pm ET

Common Sense – Obama doesn't need any GOP congressmen to pass it, but he DOES need the so-called "blue dog" Democrats, most of which have had heavy campaign contributions from medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies. There's a bit more to it than just saying he has a majority. It's fine to list off things he hasn't done, but bear in mind, he does have some resistance and he's only been in office 9 months.

Margaret James   October 14th, 2009 10:14 pm ET

Dr Oz, You are doing a wonderful service, May God bless you.I am a nurse,How can I volunteer my service.?

Frustrated Dad   October 14th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

I'm sick and tired of the bipartisan views that people throw around everyday. The Republicans this or the Democrats that. Yes the pre-existing clause that insurance companies use is at times out of control. But do insurance companies really cause the high cost of healthcare. We as a country need to look at what is causing this. One thing is the cost of malpractice insurance. Also, what about prescription drugs? Doesn't it seem odd that the FDA repealed the law that barred drug companies from advertising and now prescription costs are out of control? Lets get past the political party non-sense.

Teri in New Jersey   October 14th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

Michelle I couldn't agree more. But how do we turn things around to where we feel as though they're listening or even respecting those who put them there. The older I get the more naive I feel. I never saw such excitement in my life as I did with the past election. Now where are all those people? We still need the enthusiasm to show to our representatives. Don't give up so fast. Good things take time.

22 yo kid   October 14th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

I see people screaming FREE HEALTHCARE.. and people NO TO OBAMACARE on both sides of the street.

1. Nothing is free..i am 22 and i learned that. Someone else is paying for it and to me that is stealing. Little girl needs surgery and is dying.. how sad. Someone is going to feel bad and pay for it. But MOST uninsured KNOW they walk into an ER they get free healthcare. ahem I mean they slice off the top of our paid for care.

Americans have gotten irresponsible.. people being forclosed bc they bought homes they couldnt pay for. BMWs they can't afford. Credit card debt they cant pay for.. Living a life they didn't earn. and the insurance and banks that made it just that easier for them to do it.

Most americans need to grow up.. healthcare isnt a right. its a service to make your life a bit easier with the alternative being YOU paying for it out of pocket. Americans are feeding off other people empathy.

No to obamacare people.. your a pain also and like those companies that make it easier for people to be stupid.

This is a balancing act that needs to be made regardless of party lines.. and conservatives and liberals need to suck it up and stfu.. for the good of america. And people need to stop comparing america to all these other countries europe, canada, etc.. if they are so good get out of america and go move there. get your free healthcare. and your retirement benefits. me personally i want to keep my paycheck. not have it go to you for being lazy..

america needs to hold its lazy citizens accountable.. for not taking care of themselves. and not make others pay for them. it also needs to be human and realize their are citizens that need the gifts of others, but they too have to realize that anything that is free.. is a gift from another who PAID FOR IT. Insurance companies need to also be held reponsible. lawyers too, and most importantly politicians and the general AMERICAN population that got us into this mess and is making it worse for my generation.

1. tort reform
2. fix medicare
3. get rid of anti-trust laws.
4. tax people for their careless lifestyles lol
5. and a few other things that are cheap that wont add to my taxes for your massive debt ideas.

that is a start and later we can talk about public health insurance.

Ann   October 14th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

The question is not about how many people die a year without health in UK or other places – the question is how can we sit by and watch that happen. If we believe we are the best country in the world how can we watch Americans suffer? It is a sad day in history when people can not find compassion for others. Health is not a privelege but a human right. To deny anyone health care because they can not pay is just wrong. A country stability is shown in how it treats ALL its citizens, not just the rich.

DA   October 14th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

So, I read here on CNN that 45,000 people die each year because they don't have health insurance. But, 90,000 people die each year due to medical errors. Interesting stuff... Makes you wonder where the most good could be done.

I recognize that when you do the math on these simplistic numbers, the mortality rate for being uninsured (17% of population) is greater than for medical errors, but some of those medical error deaths could also be uninsured, so it's really hard to say.

ann   October 14th, 2009 10:20 pm ET

KLS–If we are going to get picky about grammar, it would be "more troubling to me IS not ARE.

Brenda   October 14th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

I am a proud Canadian and proud of our health care system. Its not perfect but everyone gets the care they need. Yes, we have to wait sometimes for treatment but my family has had serious illness that have been treated very sucessfully and we don't have to face huge bills or face losing our home because we can't pay.Everyone should have health care rich or poor.

Peter J.   October 14th, 2009 10:21 pm ET

Although we might have some small issues with the health care system in Canada, believe me, it is good.
Any time something happens, the service is there. Yes,, sometimes you have to wait a little, depending on the severity of the injuries ahead of you, but it is dealt with professionally, and you don't have to worry about a huge bill that will totally screw up your financial situation.
In the case of the U.S.A. , it wouldn't hurt to consider something like this. It is nice to know that you will be taken care of , rich or poor.

Maybe you should consider the option of either keeping the big business insurance companies happy, or giving all Americans a peace of mind.
Good Luck

huh   October 14th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

Michael Moore wants the rich taxed to pay for free health care. Since he's rich I asked him to pay for mine as I can no longer afford any.


Faced with another $100k in bills I cant pay I've decided to let it go....

DGP   October 14th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

Contrary to popular belief – lot of drugs are developed out side US – Many of world top pharma companies are in Europe and Asia – all of whom seem to provide adequate care to everyone. So the argument that high cost of medicine is justified do not hold true.
BTW, how much to pharma spend on research anyway? Does any one know? It probably is $100 billion – and that is an very high estimate.

How about we develop single medical research institute like NASA – hire all the researchers from pharma (and pay them more) and let them develop drugs from the beneift of country. Let pharma be only in business of mass-producing drug which they can sell at cost + 20% margin. . Tha way there is no need to justify high costs to pay for fancy research.

vicky   October 14th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

I do not have health insurance, but yes I have a cell phone $50 a month, when I was employed I had to pay $750 a month for insurance for my son and I, I grossed 3,000, my rent and utilities are $1400 a month my car $300 whats left???? When I used my coverage I had really high Out Of Pocket.... Every State is different...but since moving to Fl I have to choose between FOOD for myself and child or Health care...... I am not asking the Government to GIVE me any thing I just want insurance at a price I can afford..

Gail   October 14th, 2009 10:25 pm ET


Your comments make me laugh. You stated '...Why should I have to pay thousands more dollars to insure other people who do not take care of themselves like I do? ' You ALREADY DO!!!! Your health insurance costs are much HIGHER already due to the fact that the UNINSURED go to emergency rooms around the US for treatments they should be getting at their primary physicians offices, costing MILLIONS of dollars to HOSPITALS, which ends up costing YOU because the $$ they charge are much HIGHER as a result.

How INSULTING to say that 'I work hard' as to insinuate that people without health care DON'T. Keep those thoughts as companies continue to lower the amounts they will cover for health care, and you may find yourself bankrupt even with it. Our country is full of selfish, immoral people like you that only care about THEMSELVES. I have health care and I too work hard, but I realize that the situation as it exists today cannot continue, or we will all be without it.

Deb   October 14th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

I can only guess that the idiots who think the current health care situation is a good one have never actually had to USE their health care provider for a serious illness. Why is it ok when your HMO denies coverage to a 14mth because of weigh..but then you cry that a government sponsered healthcare plan would rob you of something? Do you guys not get that the insurance companies are in it for the money?? do you not get it that they deny covered patients all the time to 'save cost'?? Do some damn research people.. unless you have the coverage that our Senators and their family have then you are just talking nonsense. Just ask our 9/11 responders who have been DENIED coverage because the insurance companies do not believe their breathing/health issues were job related.. wake up sheep, your insurance company does NOT care about YOU they care about how much money they can make off of you.. all American Capitalism at it's finest.

ann   October 14th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

DGP-well, I guess one by one we can do away with all American jobs. Let's go ahead and do away with pharmaceutical companies, then we can put all of those people on the taxpayer's payroll. Unfortunately many times we do not look at the big picture. And sometimes that's because we just think of ourselves, and usually that is while we are suggesting others are thinking just of themselves.

Raju   October 14th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

This is sad. The funny thing, why are the Republicans fighting a public option. It is an "option", something people, especially poor people can buy into, with tax credits, vouchers etc. I mean they can even use their food stamps as currency.

It because the private insurance companies do not want a competitor who is going to push profits down. As simple as that. And the republicans believe profit helps this country. Unfortunately for many, espeically Americans, these days, all profits are being spent in China and India. It will be many many years before we see any investment coming our way.

Profits. A public option goes against this.

So, the insurance companies released a report showing how much costs will increase with this bill, even with subsidies to them. To them most probably they treated the subsidies as extras. Extra profit. Not necessarily to reduce costs.

Funny thing is the cost increase they are showing. Thats how much it is going up anyway. No matter what. Even without the bill!

From: An Insurance Guy

Ariel   October 14th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

*First I would like to quickly mention the comment by Ben Stein tonight that made me seek this blog. Providing healthcare to the *poor* as deemed by the gov't would be the WORST solution! One of the reasons Medicare has gone bankrupt is b/c we have created a bottom feeding society. I AM NOT SAYING that there are not people that legitimately need the system, I am just saying we didn't do a very good job of filtering between the helpless and the useless. Why is it the promiscuous mother's of 3 can stay home and get their drug addictions PAID for by the system? Hell, they even get there gas to and from addiction clinics paid for. Which is funny, because I am a hard working individual that struggles like most, and even with the coverage that I pay for...I do not get re-imbursement for my trips to and from the dr's, nevermind to feed my addictions. I am just saying why do some of the bottom feeders get ***** (5 star) service when the rest of us are struggling for the ** (2 star) treatment that we pay top dollar for?
2nd – I am not sure what the best resolution would be. As the current mess we are in is the ENTIRE medical communities fault. From the Pharmaceutical companies, Doctor's to the Hospitals and last but not least Health Insurance companies. All of these parties have contributed to the inflation that has blown up in all of our faces. When I go to the Dr. for Gallbladder attack and walk out with: 6 hours of waiting, <10 minutes with the Doc, 0 resolution, 2 scripts for an antacid and a heavy Motrin, and a $2,000 dollar bill that my health insurance will cover 50%........what does that say?
How would the gov't decide who really needs? This year my husband who carries the health insurance got laid big surprise (he obviously wasn't alone in the line to unemployment)...I had just given birth and had a 1, ONE! month old, we didn't qualify for much of any help because we made to much money the year before! REALLY? Situations change, there needs to be a way to take the present circumstances into account! And we need to know all the parties involved in contributing to the disaster we are in. Otherwise, next years vacations by all the guilty parties will be comp'd by ours truely, the gov't.

Louise   October 14th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

I hate to tell you this folks but you've been lied to. A lot. So blatantly it was embarrassing. I have lived in Canada all of my 66 years, 46 of those in Alberta, 26 of those working for the Alberta Health Services. I can assure you no bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor at any time. The government has absolutely nothing to say about what kind of treatment your doctor orders for you. They don't ask you if you are insured. Everyone has a health care card which you may be asked to produce. The last time I was in emergency, 6 weeks ago, nobody asked. I was examined, x-rays taken for a possible broken arm, and consulted with the doctor. From home back to home took 3 hours. I know and have worked with hundreds of people in Alberta. Not one has suffered at the hands of our health care system. Every member of my immediate family has had emergency life saving surgery at one time or another in our lives. I had a ruptured appendix and it was one hour from my bed at home to the operating room. We're all still here exckept my parents who died of old age. Even the drugs to be covered by insurance are determined by an independent panel of physicians, there is not a bureaucrat among them. We are not without the occasional horror story but you have a few of your own. As far as waiting is concerned, yes, we have a problem with wait times for elective surgery. You can wait up to 2 years for a knee replacement. That's a problem here, no question, and we are trying to rectify it. Health care costs are also spiralling, and like you we have a shortage of doctors. Nobody waits for urgent care (maybe a few hours on a busy night), or if you live in a rural area, you might have to be flown in by air ambulance. Nobody goes bankrupt here because of medical costs, nobody is turned away, 95% of people are covered and you can opt out if you wish. You do not lose your coverage if you quit your job, lose your job or move to another part of the country. Hospitals get a budgeted amount, doctors bill the government direct. Some services like chiropractic and physical therapy and cosmetic surgery are not covered. Reconstructive surgery, however, is. It's not a perfect system and we have our problems. There is, however, no "pre-existing conditions" stuff. You have been told our system works like your insurance companies do. They decided if and what care you get. That is not so in the Canadian Health Care System. Nothing is rationed. You have been lied to.

At the same time, Michael Moore is wrong. I don't believe the US can have a government run system. That ship has sailed for you. It would be so cost prohibitive to set up the federal and state health agencies and systems you would need just to get started, I don't see it as possible. You would have had to do that many years ago, when the other industrialized countries were setting up their national systems, back when you were fighting the Viet Nam war or well before that. It's too late now. You are stuck with your insurance companies and will have to step on them and regulate them and the pharmaceutical companies who are going to want to keep the status quo, and why not? They are fleecing you. If the pharmaceutical companies want to sell their drugs to Canada, they have to accept the government rate we pay and they do. They can charge the US anything they want. I don't see why a public option couldn't be made available to your low income uninsured, at a cost based on income, or for people who have lost their coverage for some reason, temporary situations, on a federal basis like your Medicare. That's not a big deal. Yes, we pay higher taxes...but not by the ridiculous amounts your insurance companies charge you for premiums, and then they might say "no". We pay twice as much for booze...taxes and why not. Cigarettes too. If you want to drink and smoke here, then you should pay for the health problems they cause. I don't see that as unfair. And if your liquor companies are worried about not selling liquor if it costs twice as much, our alcoholism rate is still as high as yours. The smoking rate had decreased but no more than yours. We are much more into preventive medicine because it is in the best interests of a public system to do so...saves money and lives at the same time. And if you need an MRI tomorrow and can't wait, you can go ahead and pay for one. I would. I know that if it shows I need immediate surgery, I'll get it and don't need to worry about going bankrupt.

Patrick, M.D.   October 14th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

As a primary care physican in the Midwest in a economically deprived area, it is frustrating to have to deal with multiple insurance companies that have different rules and different formularies. Time and resources are wasted jumping through hoops to get approval for medications and procedures needed for my patients. For the uninsured I give a discount for my services, but have no control over the cost of labs, XR's, procedures. The insurance industry should not be making huge profits off the lives of others with CEO's taking home millions of dollars in bonuses that could have helped many people.

I am equally frustrated with individuals who are selfish enough to believe that healthcare should not be allowed to every individual in our great nation. Can you not be proud of what you do and be grateful that you can help out the less fortunate?

The Republicans are continually talking about the cost to the taxpayers. The longer we put this off, the more it will cost us or our children. Let's get off our high-horse and get meaningful legislation approved that is good for the American people, not the insurance industry, not the pharmaceutical industry, but for the people that truly will benefit from it. We must be careful, though, because the lobbyists for pharma and insurance companies are trying to weaken these bills for their benefit. NOT OURS. They still want to rob us of meaningful healthcare coverage to put more money in their pocket.

Lastly. for a country that in general is founded on Christian principles, are we acting in accordance with that faith when we say to the less fortunate, "Sorry, my money is more important than your life?"

Thanks for reading my diatribe.

kathy cromwell   October 14th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

This may be the most important story I have seen today. Please Dr. Oz, Larry King and CNN......... tell this story . some Americans still don't believe it is happening.

Illinois doc   October 14th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

The problem is that you fail to see the real culprits behind the health care mess--The Insurance industry.
When you are cancelled or cannot afford insurance, just remember that the CEO of United Healthcare made over 150 million dollars and had 1.6 BILLION in stock options. He did not get that by giving away reasonable insurance. He did it by cheating the American public.
The solution is to make the insurance companies provide inexpensive coverage based on income and make it so that insurance executive salaries are capped and not tied to how much money they save the company. Insurance companies cap doctor fees, so the government can cap theirs.
Healthcare reform is a nice concept but the average medical student come out of residency in the US over $200,000 in debt. I the healthcare bill passes, the fees to docs will be cut more and the best and brightest will not go into medicine, then where will we be?
President Obama stated the docs get $50,000 for an amputation, the truth is we get about $500 and have to see the patient without billing them for at least 3 months after surgery.
If people without insurance would put aside some money every month, they would have some reserve for their care, and if they are not making much money there is always public aid.

Patrick Chiacchia   October 14th, 2009 10:37 pm ET

We are spending 90% of health care costs keeping our loved ones alive for the last two weeks of their lives.......they are on life support, in intensive care, require 24 hour support........all very costly

This is very emotional for the partner or guardian.

I say, if they choose to keep a "no chance" patient alive for two weeks, with very expensive care, they should pay for that.

I tough decision...but spending money on a person who is at the end of their life, would be rejected by the patient and should be a liablilty to the guardian.

If the guardian wants to waste this money....let them pay for it and insurance premimums will fall....

Ask Ben.......he is a "M"....

Patrick Chiacchia

Christopher   October 14th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

There is not one good example of the US government seizing private industry, where the american people benefitted.

I have also lived in a few countries, including Canada and Italy. Those hospitals and clinics were disgusting.

Why do people not follow logic anymore? The problem isn't a lack of insurance – which is what insurance lobbyists want you to think. The problem is the cost of treatment. It is a conflict of public interest for any health care related company to profit. Therefore in a reasonable effort to make health care costs affordable for working Americans, ALL health care related companies should be non-profit.

We need to stop treating the symptoms of a bloated health care system and start fixing what's truly wrong with it.
Let us also not forget that the non-working poor – welfare state, DOES have (limited) health coverage. Whereas the lower middle class often doesn't.

Shay   October 14th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

Yesterday in the news in Michigan, there was information about the Congress and Senate's health insurance. They pay $1260.00 a month. They do not have to pay any deductibles. There is a doctor in the building who is there full time to accomodate our law makers. Cost of this doctor is zero. However, this is paid by the taxpayers. If they need hospitalization, they receive all free care including surgeries at Walter Reed Hosp. and the taxpayers pay all the bills for the full Congress. They are eligible for this health care until they reach retirement age. Even if they are not voted back by their constituents they receive this wonderful benefit thanks to all the hard working Republican, Democrat and Independents in this country. It does not matter if they have any existing medical problems, they are covered. Now if you have the best of the best, why bother worrying about the people of this country who do not have this kind of insurance or better yet have no insurance at all. Next time you talk to (laugh, I can't get ahold of mine except thru letters) your Representative or Senator ask him or her about this. This information is factual. So anyone out there paying taxes with no health insurance and paying insurance for Congress is outrageous. Yet everybody does that is holding a job. So, what do you think about fairness in in our country now?

Lauren   October 14th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

To Mike – Even if the 47 million is an incorrect number (which I doubt), please tell everyone what number you feel is an appropriate number of men, women, and children to be uninsured and unable to access appropriate health care (and I'm not talking emergency rooms, which we end up paying for anyways). Health care reform is an absolute necessity. One soldier dying in a war is one too many. Why can't people see that the same mantra is true for our health system?

To Frank – I bet if you were to look at a majority of the people who are uninsured, it is not because they don't want insurance. It is because they are priced out of it. Millions of uninsured can't get coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, any coverage they may be offered is at an exorbitant rate that is not financially sustainable. It's not a matter of forgoing the new car or the flat screen tv like you seem to think it is. Health care costs are rising at unsustainable rates. Hardworking individuals are priced out of insurance everyday. Open your eyes to the reality. This is not just about people who choose not to pay for coverage when they can afford it. You really need to walk a day in someone else's shoes before you pass judgment.

DGP   October 14th, 2009 10:42 pm ET

Saving american jobs – that is is lame excuse.
Soooo many blue collar american jobs have already been eliminated by outsourcing – that it hard to justify saving few white collar jobs when people are dying – physically or financially.
If you read my comment corefully – I am saying that we hire all the scientists/engineers and those making contributions to developing drugs – so there is no loss of job there. The only loss of job will probably in the legal and marketing departments – who try to foist dangerous drugs on american public. Pharma will still have manufacturing and sales and most of the blue collor jobs.
So, when repukes think about themselves (donations a.k.a bribes) and miss the big picture (affordable health care for everyone) – that is seems OK.

Holly   October 14th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

To the person who said people without insurance are too lazy to work. MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO ARE UNINSURED WORK...THEY ARE CALLED THE WORKING POOR. They get paid minimum wage and can not afford health insurance. Why do you think Wal-Mart supports a public option? So they don't have to provide HEALTH CARE to the people who work for them for minimum wage. After I graduated college I was uninsured. I WAS NOT LAZY. I was too old to be on my parent's plan and they weren't going to pay the outrageous cost of Cobra. I had not found a job yet, so I was hoping and praying I was not in a car accident. I could not afford health insurance until I found a job. THE JOB MARKET was lousy at the time, like it is now. WHY DON'T YOU NOT JUDGE PEOPLE?? Just another example of a Republican who only cares about themselves.

Joel Hentz   October 14th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

Every USA citizen should have access to insurance! The goverment needs to up the social security tax to 15% and then give medicare to every USA citizen, this will cover 80% of medical bills. Then it would be up to each person to get coverage for the other 20% or pay out of pocket.
I didn't ask to be born with neurofibromatosis.
I am college educated.
I suffer from neurofibromatosis TYPE-1 I have back pain due to plexiforms on my spinal cord,(these are tumors), spurs in my neck, butterfly shaped bones in my spine, disk compression, starting to get bone loss. Small lumps and bumps ALL over my body from the complications of neurofibromatosis. Let me go on, High Blood pressure NF related, I have 3 stents in my heart (due to heart attack), scoliosis, anxiety and depression. Flat feet, mild carpal tunnel in both hands, I also have neurofibromas in my palms and this hurts. I have insomnia, take prescription meds and still get very little sleep.
January of 2006 ended up in hospital and needed 8 pints of blood because my hemoglobin was down to ‘4’
As of 12/15/2006 and many test, The doctors still can find out why my hemoglobin keeps dropping. I took Iron pills 3 times a day to keep my red count up. If you want to see any medical reports, CAT-scans, MRI’s. Etc… I will show to anyone and everyone. I have almost $200,000 in medical bills in the last 18 months. I finally went to Lenox Hill hospital in NYC on 7/3/07 and a doctor there found out my problem. It was GIST tumors in my small intestines, due to neurofibromatosis. Only took 18 months to find it. Thank God for Lenox Hill.
On 8/29/07 had operation. I ended up with ‘7’ Seven GIST tumors and they were cancerous. All were removed successfully along with 10 inches of my intestine.
Thank God my employer, payed me long term disability and covered me with insurance.
I worked fulltime from September 1979 until May 2005, that is 26 years and the Social Security is saying nothing is wrong with me.
It took me over 17 months to get Social Security and I had to pay a lawyer $5,300 to go to court for me to get the benefit
WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE that aren't as lucky as me, to have insurance?

I still pay alot of out pocket expences every month, but if I didn't have
Social Security and the insurance my employer offers me, I would of been dead buy now. But the way I spent my 401K on my health.

Filiz   October 14th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

LACROSSE MOM, at last, an intelligent person in this country!! I am a small business owner, do NOT have health insurance, and 9 out 10 of my friends who are small business owners do NOT have insurance. Cannot afford it, rents still high, taxes still high but after allllllllll those taxes I still pay, NO health insurance!

kim   October 14th, 2009 10:44 pm ET

U.S. insurance companies and drug companies and their lobbyists are a legal Mafia. Republicans are in bed with these mafiosos. The insurance companies are no better than Bernie Madoff. Instead of paying protection money to people when they need health care... people instead are asked to pay protection money in the form of premiums for policies that dont really exist when they need them the most.
Money money money... the love of the root of all evil.
Republicans are in love with money and have no concept of what it means to share. Republicans are the bullies who steal your lunch money on the play ground of life ! Democrats are the buddies who come to pick you up off the pavement when your nose is bloodied.
The republicans are pulling a vaccuum on innocent peoples life savings and well being by supporting these evil insurance Co. expletive deleteds.
You really have a problem over there with foxes eating your chickens.
Time to load up the metaphorical rock salt me thinks.
Wall regulation... money goes missing...hmmm.
Health insurance... no regulation... money goes missing...hmmmm.,
Do the math. These are evil people doing evil things to the general population over there and where is the outrage ???? Again... WHY is it legal for insurance companies to take premiums from people for years for a health insurance policy...and then not deliver when the care is needed ? where I come from thats called ROBBERY !
Why again..tell it legal to raise premiums to unaffordable levels when people are ill ?
Dont get me wrong here...I hate TAX... but what I hate worse is greed... theft.... and dumping sick people on the street !
Land of the free, home of the brave... "the best health care in the world"... lol Tea Party my eye... this is about a group of people who dont give a rats behind about others... plain and simple. I could go on but I'm pretty sure my point has been made clearly.

ann   October 14th, 2009 10:45 pm ET

RAJU-I think you forgot to mention that it would be difficult to compete with a government organization that doesn't pay any taxes. As an insurance guy, you, of course understand.

SJ   October 14th, 2009 10:48 pm ET

Thank you Dr Oz for lending your powerful voice in speaking for those who can't on this all-too important issue facing our country.

Its still amazing to me the ones speaking the loudest (and nastiest) against health care reform and for maintaining the status-quo seem to know the least about health care.

Jules   October 14th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Tim, health care is not explicitly mentioned as a right in our constitution... but back then they did not have the medical capacity and know-how that we have today. However, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" is, and how can we possibly pursue that if we're sick and blindsided by the debt incurred? Access to good health care, good education, and good jobs are all we need to have a fair shake at this thing we call life.

Filiz   October 14th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Rush is filthy rich, have him pay for all the needed health care and maybe he will then eat less and use less drugs which are really messing his "mind"

Mike   October 14th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

Tort reform is not the issue. MedMal cases account for less than 1% of health care costs. Less than 1%.

You don't need reform to guard against frivolous lawsuits. Our founding fathers were smarter than that... it's called the jury. You bring a BS case into court, and a jury of your peers (12 ordinary folks like me and you) will pour them out of court. Happens every day. [[go ahead... someone mention the McDonald's hot coffe case, and I'll school you on that one. It is nothing like how it was portrayed in teh media and on Leno]]

Further, tort reform has actuallt had negative consequences in a lot of cases. Say for instance you break your leg (in Texas), and the Dr. who operates does a bang up job and you end up walking with a terrible limp... so bad in fact, you cannot walk well enough to continue working and you lose your job. The law allows you to recover from the Dr. for your lost wages, but (here's the kicker) good luck finding a lawyer to take your case because the MedMal cap is $250k. Good luck finding an attorney to represent you (you won't) because it isn't economically feasible, Sure, $250k sounds like plenty, but by the time you factor in court costs, expert witnesses, trial staff, depositions, etc., etc., there isn't enough money left to make it worth the attorney's time. That's the result of tort reform in Texas anyway. Law firms turn away calls from injured people every day. Not because the don't have good claims, but because tort reform makes them not feasible economically.

I am pro health care reform, but also agree with what has been said about personal responsibility, the ability to purchase health policies across state borders and reigning in health care companies. Actually reigning in health care companies is the single biggest factor that could effect health care costs in America.

James   October 14th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

Filiz===why not Michael Moore? Wouldn't you agree he needs to eat less than even Rush. A little prejudice there, my friend.

Ron   October 14th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

Thank you Ann for your spelling comment. KLS most people on here are very angry and are probably typing in anger and not paying attention to what or how they are typing. No one is asking for free healthcare on here. We all are smart enough to know that it would be paid through taxes. What people want and need is affordable healthcare ,insurance companies are not doctors so why are they telling us(we are paying high premiums and co-pays) we should be able to decide some of our own treatment, why is the insurance companies telling us what and how much they are going pay. And we end up making up the difference . Can you tell I don't like corporate America or Insurance companies? Take AIG for example now they don't have to pay back most of the bail out money. And are still paying their executives million dollar bonus!

Anne D   October 14th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

You are right, but do you realize how many Americans chose not to receive a good education because they don't have any motivation. It's just easier to blast everyone that thinks differently instead of getting educated on all the issues.

Tema   October 14th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

What do you mean you will have to pay more? The vast majority of middle class americans will actually SAVE money with a public option. You will be the first to sign up as soon as you compare (AND DROP) the crappy, overly expensive insurance policy you now hold. DON"T YOU SEE THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE RUNNING WITH YOUR MONEY???

GetitRight   October 14th, 2009 10:57 pm ET

Most of you pundents on here supporting the GOP always have lots of generalizations to support your position. Even if ONE American dies from lack of healthcare its a good reason to have it. If the world worked by your logic, there wouldn't be any roads, or schools, or public libraries, or anything that takes communitarian effort. Secondly, I don't hear all of you GOP'ers that are part of that massive 40-something million that don't pay a dime in taxes but have no problem driving to work on roads you didn't pay for, or crossing bridges you didn't pay for, or calling 911 for emergency services you didn't pay don't seem to have any problem with those "free-loaders". And to those of you running around shouting "facists" and "socialists"....get out of your trailers, go down to the public library (the one you aren't paying tax to support), ask for a dictionary, then ask for someone that can read to help you look up those two words, so you can get the real definitions cause most of you nay-sayers continue to use them improperly.

Now, to those of you GOP'ers from the fringe Christian right that don't support the Healthcare legislation...go back to your bibles and look up the main tenents of Jesus Christ's mission...the ones that say .take care of the weak, the sick, the down-trodden....refusing to support Healthcare is at its core you should all be ashamed.

dj   October 14th, 2009 10:57 pm ET

Critical services, such as police, firemen AND health care should be under the control of voters, not insurance companies which seek to please the same people as the banks – shareholders and CEOs. Health care costs are the primary reason that people lose their homes in the US. Insurance companies prefer healthy people or dead people.. not sick people.

Broader Perspective   October 14th, 2009 10:58 pm ET

I am both saddened and impressed by the comments posted. After having the opportunity to live and serve in Central America for the last month, I am having a harder and harder time understanding our country´s priorities.

It is true that the US is a consumerist nation that prioritizes goods over the well being of its citizens. The fact that many Americans currently lack jobs and healthcare is not a tribute to their laziness or apathy, rather, I believe, it is a manifestion of a much larger class disparity. While there are many who have worked hard to provide for their families and get where they are, there are many many more who have made their money on the backs of others and have created laws that maintain this injustice.

The phrase ¨pull yourself up by your bootstraps¨was created by the rich elite as a way to keep the poor in check promising them a better life if they just worked a little bit harder.

It´s about time we stop fighting one another, look eachother in the
eye, and rise above the divisions that are preventing us from succeeding as a nation of people. This includes viewing the health of our fellow country people as a right, as a necessity- not a privelege.

Filiz   October 14th, 2009 11:00 pm ET

Friend was in France, broke her arm , was in ER, treated and out in 45 minutes,paid $160, happy as a bird.
I went to ER, almost fainting from pain, waited 2 1/2 hours to be seen, ended up paying $12,000 for 6 hours of "tests", etc. Result? Just said they thought is was appendicitis but aren't I lucky, that it wasn't.??????!!!!!!!!!!! This was the 'best'hospital in Miami Beach!!!
Who is controlling health care? The same guys that brought done the financial system OR is all this money and technical advancement going somewhere else and we are paying for it? Where did all the Madoff money go??Somebody research this stuff.

bdf   October 14th, 2009 11:00 pm ET

I can only hope that when my generation is old enough and working in congress, the senate, the presidency, that we pay attention to ALL Americans rather than focusing on ourselves. I hope we learn from the mistakes that the older generation makes regarding health care and the environment. ...but you know what? That's not likely. There are so many young adults who do not have health coverage and either cannot afford it for whatever reason. Then there are the young adults who are able to enjoy the benefits of their parents' policies for being under 23 (or is it 25 now?) and attending college.
Well guess what. I attend college. I work from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. And I do not have health coverage. I cannot afford it because of mistakes I made when I was younger and now have to pay off multiple credit cards and still manage to help my family pay for groceries and put gas in the car -and I do not drive. Is this my fault? The credit cards, yes. To not have health coverage because I can't afford it and have to pay astronomical amounts for visiting a doctor's office because I do not have health coverage? I am young, finally gaining my senses of a world that no one taught me how to manage, and here I am denied something because I can't afford it.
No one ever said growing up was easy, but this country is insane. We treat the rich and snub the poor. There are other countries like this, yes. It's just a shame that behavior like this is possible. I'm glad I grew up in the area I did. People around here are human to one another. I only wish it were the same in other parts of the world, and in the USA.

Sheelagh Schano   October 14th, 2009 11:01 pm ET

Thank you for your topic. I, too, am an "uninsured", although I worked foryears, and paid my dues. I need a CT-scan and I won't be able to have it because I simply can't afford it. My husband has been off work for 50 weeks – initially for an at-work injury (which led to his job loss), and then as an unemployed American. We're 61 years old, worked for decades, and now we can't afford to purchase insurance and pay our mortgage (which is modest). SOMETHING has to occur to assist folks like us, and the four people you highlighted. The future is terrifying for us.

Peter J.   October 14th, 2009 11:03 pm ET

Atta go Louise, good comment!

Total BS   October 14th, 2009 11:05 pm ET

This is BS; illegals should not be here – period! And no Amensty. Bring back our Mfg jobs – secure theborder and reinstate our traditional American culture as an English speaking Nation under GOD.

Its that simple.

LaRaza and CAIR should NOT have a voice for independent reasons. And get rid of ACORN and let's make sure Obama was born in this country and kick his communist czars out of position – if he keeps them, they should be UNPAID and vetted before Congress which along with the Senate should be subject to Term Limits and a limited pension benefit, if any.

Its that simple.

Patriot   October 14th, 2009 11:05 pm ET

Cheer up...we're still number 37 and we're still ahead of Cuba! Isn't Capitalism fun??

Holly   October 14th, 2009 11:05 pm ET

I think that all insurance companies should be non-profits. If they aren't concerned about making tons of money then they won't be denying claims.

My boyfriend had a claim denied because they said he did not have a referral. He did have a referral from a doctor. They tried to tell him that wasn't a referral. WELL THEN WHAT IS IT? I think if another doctor refers you to a specialist it is called a referral. He went round and round with them and finally threated legal action before they would pay it. RIDICULOUS. It wasted a lot of his time for no reason. I could never work for an insurance company, because I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I denied a claim for no good reason.

cat   October 14th, 2009 11:08 pm ET

So many on the right say this is a Christian nation- but to deny people health care is one of the most unChristian things I have ever seen. Can you imagine Jesus refusing to heal the sick because they couldn't afford the cost of insurance to cover it? I am appalled at the things I hear coming from the right.. so much so that I just can't bear to go to church anymore.. the hate makes me sick.

Ron   October 14th, 2009 11:08 pm ET

Filiz , a co-worker of mine was in Canada on vacation I believe and had a major operation, not sure what it was, but she said she only had to pay $15 An American on vacation and had to pay 15 dollars.

Maggie   October 14th, 2009 11:09 pm ET

Ann you raise an issue which I have thought about. I am solidly in favor of a strong public non-profit option, available to anyone who chooses to sign up (no pre-condition restrictions, of course.). I might not be so strong about this had I not spent 40 of my adult years in Canada before returning here.

A system similar to Canada's, warts and all, is so amazingly much better at keeping citizens healthy and addressing issues that arise that I think most who have not experienced it simply cannot imagine the difference.

Also – the astonishing RELIEF is also unimaginable. Relief from a level of 'real life anxiety' that clearly shows in fears of those who cling in anger and by accusation to what they presently have.

A third benefit unknowable until experienced is a sense of pride and safety. Pride in knowing ones citizen body respects and values each citizen enough to pool resources to provide health care to all. Safety for each citizen to know it's "OK" to change a job, or take a 'peculiar' new physical development to a doctor for consultation. (A doctor one freely chooses, I add.)

Back to your question: "How many people's jobs are entangled in the existing system and how can we address that? How can their skills be smoothly and efficiently be shifted to similar work, similarly paid?" There are many in the for-profit industry who are ordinary folks. I'd like to hear sound thinking about this. I have no desire to wreak havoc on ordinary lives – that's part of the point about HC reform – bring it to ordinary citizens!

I am quite sure we can find our way with this. I don't know how other countries have handled it but it's not a new situation. One thing that occurs to me is we need a 'transition' set-up. This could take a few years. We need people to be hired to help with a transition program.

Then we will need people with experience to operate a new universal program once established. Obviously, those who already are skilled at similar tasks (in the present system) should be prime candidates!

Insurers exist in Canada. They sell supplementary insurance (Canada's HC does not cover every single bit of wellness needs – in fact does not cover dental, vision, meds, or 'aides' like crutches and wheel chairs. But compared to a $200,000 hospital bill, this is 'doable' both by individuals and by community fund raising to pitch in when these are needed).

Basic wellness IS a right. The Declaration of Independence specifically mentions 'safety'. It does not surprise me in the least that no one at the time thought to mention medical coverage! (They didn't mention fire departments either.) With today's medical possibilities, and with sure knowledge that a well citizen boosts whole-nation prosperity beyond measure, we can't afford NOT to see to it that everyone has coverage for basic wellness needs. The 'best bang for buck spent' is to keep profit out of it. We're not talking cars and TV sets here, we're talking human physical bodies - uniquely vulnerable (compared to speed boats, for instance), and quite a different matter.

Best to All – Maggie

Ron   October 14th, 2009 11:11 pm ET

Dear Broader Perspective Welcome to America! The land of the rich, who cares about anyone else. At the border it should say Welcome to America! Hope you have your own insurance!

CeCe   October 14th, 2009 11:12 pm ET

How about this? All those with health insurance- give it up- and pass it on to someone who wants it but can't get it or afford it. Then when the bugs up your rectums starts to cause you pain and you need to see a doctor but can't, come back here and we promise that we'll show sympathy for you.

IsNot   October 14th, 2009 11:13 pm ET

"What ever happened to the survival of the fittest? Are we going to degrade our genetic stock to the point that we spend millions of dollars on the physically inferior who require care far exceeding the needs of the majority?"

The above statement is the scariest thing I've seen today. Really?

Who gets to decide what is "inferior"?

I'll be sure to tell my friend who got fired and lost his insurance for getting sick (failing kidneys) he is inferior. I would tell my other friend who also lost his job after his stroke and his kidney failure the same thing, but that would be a one-sided conversation as he died last Spring for want of money. Ironically it was the same week Natalie Cole got HER new kidney.

TLF   October 14th, 2009 11:14 pm ET

What I can't reconcile about this whole issue is the Republicans who are such loud proponents and supporters of Medicare; determined to protect it at all costs. And, then, almost in the same breath, declare that any kind of comprehensive coverage for all U.S. citizens is nothing less than socialist. Why don't they consider Medicare a socialist program? One word – VOTES.

Sad. Very sad.

Holly   October 14th, 2009 11:14 pm ET

What makes me so irate is that people are mad over the cost of healthcare. ARE YOU NOT ANGRY OVER THE COST OF THE WAR IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN? An unjustified war. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. That war was about oil. WAKE UP REPUBLICANS!! The cost of that war could pay for healthcare many times over. NOT TO MENTION did you know that we have paid for Iraqi's healthcare. REALLY? The Republicans are such idiots. They are willing to pay for Iraqis to have health care, but not their own constituents. GOES TO SHOW THAT REPUBLICANS are heartless and do not care about their own country and its citizens.

Meidy   October 14th, 2009 11:18 pm ET

The question is why are they uninsured? Too big of a house? Too big (or too many cars)? Lavish living on credit cards? I know people who make six figures who "can't afford" health insurance. I'm not unsympathetic to some's plight. But those who are fiscally irresponsible just can't expect others to pick up the bill. Why do we view health insurance differently than car insurance or home insurance. No one seems to expect me to pick up someone else's tab for car / home insurance. Why health care insurance? Interesting.....

wren   October 14th, 2009 11:18 pm ET

I don't have a pot to pee in either, yet I own a ipod- It was given to me as a gift. A friend gave me her old one. Don't be so quick to Judge. A lot of poeple are left without health care because of circumstances beyond their control. My mom has no insurience either. I worry about her. She would be in so much better health and shape if she did. Too many people's lives are being cut short when there is no need.

"Removing the “pre-existing” clause allows people to have insurance this may eliminate a lot of those who are uninsured. Allowing all insurance firms to compete equally across all 50 states" is a great idea. So is solving the problem of 60 billion dollors being lost from the goverment due to medical fruad but no one is talking about that ,are they?

Laura Garcia   October 14th, 2009 11:20 pm ET

Everybody talking about high insurance premiums. Why don´t you ponder about the high fees doctors and hospitals charge? My sister and her family have insurance but they have been flying to Mexico for years for medical attention as it not only costs her less but doctors (not government services, private practice) cure their ailments and not only ask for endless tests only to give them an OTC prescription that does no good. I have meet more Americans, not only Hispanics coming not to Tijuana but to Mexico City to the good hospitals for their treatments, they say they feel better cared for. Also there are many doctors in Mexico who work in the USA a couple of days a week, they agree that in the States they do charge three and four times more than in Mexico for the same procedures. With unemployment, recession, etc it seems a look at the fees issue should be addressed as well.

Shay   October 14th, 2009 11:22 pm ET

I keep reading about people suggesting we up the amount of social security percentages for people to pay. Well, anyone who is making $150,00.00 a year pay social security Jan thru April. After that no social security is taken from your check because you have paid the maximum for the year. This is probably why we have problems with social security yet the average person is not aware of this.

George   October 14th, 2009 11:24 pm ET

Why only in the US of A there is need of medical insurance???How come all other european countries ever needed it?
I have never seen anyone in this country comparing costs for medical visits, procedures, surgeries, etc from USA and all european countries. One will answer: in Europe these costs are subsidized. Let's get then the costs from Europen private clinics and compare with US costs. You'll be shocked!!!!!
1. A doctor visit in USA :200-300$. In Europe:25Euro=40$ and is dictated by their guvernments.
2. Emergency visit: big money in USA. In Europe: 0.
3. Total anesthesia in US: 875$/shot. In Europe: 100Euro=145$.
4. A heart surgery in USA:75000$ at least. In Europe:5000Euro=7000$.

These are just a few examples of what the burden in this country is.


Mary   October 14th, 2009 11:24 pm ET

Everyone should be able to have healthcare. Whats the matter with people, some of you would rather see some one sick, dying, unable to afford medication, rather then let them have a chance to have affordable healthcare. I'm for national health care!! I lived in the UK for two years never had a problem seeing a doctor the same day I called for an appointment. National health care works!! Don't buy into the scare tatics of greedy politicians and insurance companies!! The same insurance companies that can and will refuse services if they want. Read the fine print.

GetitRight   October 14th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

Louise, I am also a Canadian, and I can tell you we have an amazing healcare system. I was in New Mexico once, got dehydrated, was rushed to the hospital by ambulance because the hotel called them, on the way, while I was half conscious I was asked "DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE" and "WHAT HOSPITAL DO YOU WAN TTO GO TO" ...yeah, they were yelling, needed to know before i was fully unconsious, lest they need to pull over and leave me on the side of the road. So, four hours in Emergency getting 'tested', got released after 3 bags of IV....and all for the cool sum of US $15,000. Nice. I had 5 hour jaw surgery up here with two specialist surgeons, spend three days in hospital, one night in ICU, two in a private room....all for the wonderful universal healthcare sum of $0 dollars.

Those commercials they are playing down in the US with the lady talking about long line ups....WRONG. Listen, no big system the size of a national healthcare system is perfect...just like your VA system..., but we are working out the bugs, and my taxes are reasonable...even compared to the US after my colleagues there pay their Insurance premiums...and I will never have to worry about going bankrupt, EVER.....I will never have to ask myself if I can afford that trip to the hospital...EVER...and no HMO will tell me who my healthcare provider will be or what they are 'authorized' to do or not do....EVER. So all you people talking about the GOV calling the shots about end of life decisions....even if that was true, let me tell you...I rather have a GOV official doing that then an Executive at AIG Insurance doing it. Those supporting the Anti-healthcare are really supporting the companies and executives that caused the massive financial failure of are supporting the companies that didn't pay out to the Katrina victims who lost their houses and lives even though they had coverage....I think maybe you should serioulsy think about whether you really want this legislation to fail, this is a moment in time for America....don't let it go by without doing the right thing.

K.B   October 14th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

I can't believe that the lobbyist are doing a great job protecting their own interests!!!... I can't believe that people are going against their own selves...why do we not put ourselves in the shoes of the people that need insurance or just right insurance!!!!...I can't believe that people have, actually, said that we have the perfect type of insurance what about the others????? Why is it that we always think that it can only happen to the others? What about the nonsensical pre-existing condition excuses??????? We need good insurance plans, the one that we have is failing us...
We are drowning as a nation and if we do not take care of the helpless, the sick or the dying.... we will never be blessed as a nation...
Please God have mercy on us!!!!

reggie from la   October 14th, 2009 11:26 pm ET

Why?? Over and over again. Uninsured, broke, foreclosed folks are stereotyped as "non-participants" in the American pursuit of... what? Everyone who doesn't have insurance is a welfare queen? You wanna see welfare queens? Check out a Playboy party. Some people have been thrust into poverty. Ahm, unemployment is like, awful. America is not a level playing field. Is not. Haves, either help out or shut up. Nobody is interested in success stories that only show us patting ourselves on the back. No time. I'm not wealthy. I pay taxes. I only want to help, not criticize.

Dave   October 14th, 2009 11:27 pm ET

You can't keep everyone alive for ever..those 45000 had to die at some point

melissa   October 14th, 2009 11:34 pm ET

I pray heathcare for all passes. It won't be perfect. But it WILL be a start. I will gladly pay extra (hell, we already do!) so that another person will be able to go to the doctor and be treated. I pray that I would never be in a situation without healthcare, but you never know what lies around the corner for any of us. I can't believe people can go to church on a sunday, then on monday be out protesting about Obama and healthcare and their cooked up socialism claims.

Jesse   October 14th, 2009 11:34 pm ET

I wonder how many of the people who are so appalled by the 45,000 deaths number (which I doubt is accurately calculated) are upset that 1,400,000 babies in the U.S. are lost to abortion each year.

Lydia Negron   October 14th, 2009 11:35 pm ET


It is not an uninformed statement. The figure "47 million" has been trashed about for more than 10 years even during the Bush years and I suspect that amount is much higher due to the 6.7 million layoffs in the last 12 months and more.

So what do we have to do to ensure people get health care?

While it may not be a "Republican" issue, the affects cut across the spectrum and affect everyone.

I've been fortunate to have had health insurance almost to the day I started working except for two employers.

With the cost of just getting a check-up and particularly the high cost of prescriptions, no one should have to do without because we can't get our act together.

I'm certain you know people who don't have health insurance. Why not speak to them and how they are handling it.

DGP   October 14th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

The idea that buying coverage across state-lines will save money is just a red-herring. If all the 70+ insurance companies continue to pay same $$$$ for their employees and officers – why will it reduce the cost? The only way the insurace premium will reduce if there are some insurers out there that are extremely cheap for same coverage – otherwise it is all a eye-wash. Think Walmart cheap – which will force all small mom-pop to reduce costs drastically or go out of business.
Does any one know how much $$$ is the cost of running an insurance company – employee pay + office operation costs? I won't be surprised if it is few hundred billion dollars – all of which could be saved and recyled in te health care system – by moving to single payee system

yoms   October 14th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

Frank, It's people like you that don't get it. I do not have health insurance and guess what? when I feel sick, I will go into an emergency room and you will have to pay for it. That is fine for me because of zealots like you that want Obama to fail. You and your party of No will fail and pay dearly for it. When you lose your job and lose your insurance, maybe you will feel the pain of millions that don't have insurance.

Lauren   October 14th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

Dave – Your comment amazes me. Yes, you're right, everyone dies at some point. But no one should die because they have a condition that if caught and treated in an ongoing fashion by their primary care physician would have saved their lives. The number of people that die every year b/c they lack insurance do not receive the ongoing care that you or I would b/c we are fortunate enough to have insurance. Instead, they have to go to the emergency room, where the care they receive there will likely only save them for the time being, but is utterly fruitless in the long run. So you're right, people die. But I guarantee that if it were you, or your parents, or your siblings, or god forbid, your children that were forced to seek treatment only in an emergency setting rather than receive ongoing care, you would be singing a different tune. This complete lack of respect for others as HUMANS disgusts me.

Advocate for change   October 14th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Healthcare is a moral issue. As Americans we can not stand up in moral righteousness unless we can provide equal access to healthcare to all our citizens. Only then can we be proud to extol our values to the world, until then we are shamed in knowing that many in our nation watch idly while their neighbors bleed.

Ron   October 14th, 2009 11:36 pm ET

I know I'm going to get some flack from this comment but I would give up my US citizen for a Canadian in a heartbeat. I really don't like living here anymore.

juan   October 14th, 2009 11:38 pm ET

As a surgical resident who takes care of uninsured patients, it amazes me how many uninsured people smoke 3 packs of marlboro's every day.
That's about 12 dollars a day!!! You could have health insurance for that amount!
How about some personal responsibility for a change...

Ron   October 14th, 2009 11:39 pm ET

Again so people know it is the majority of republican against healthcare reform" Snowe was only Republican to vote for Senate panel's health care plan"."I didn't consciously set out to be the only Republican," Snowe tells CNN.
Thank you!

Sophia   October 14th, 2009 11:40 pm ET

I know a lot of Canadians. The idea that Canadians die waiting for a Dr. Visit is absurd. Alot of comments come from people who feel that they are ok, because they have insurance. Read your policies and those of you who are not CEO's and those of you who don't have the government blue cross plan, will have a limit to cancer coverage. That limit means that you will probably burn through the coverage if you get cancer and you will LOSE EVERYTHING. Take your self righteousness and shove it. You will be the first person on the street if heaven forbid the worst happens to you. My husband and I are highly educated. We have what McCain calls the cadillac plan. We will go under if one of us develops a nasty bout of cancer. We have done everything right. Master's degrees in tech. fields, married, savings, live below our means and we would go under. It could happen to you. If you would open your eyes and come off your high horse, you would know it.

GetitRight   October 14th, 2009 11:40 pm ET

@Total BS

Thanks for taking the time out from your Neo-Nazi/KKK meeting to come online and share your thoughts with us. Once we follow through on your recommendations, then what's left of the Native Indian population can start the next phase and kick out all those red-necks that invaded 'their' country and tried to slaughter them before giving up, stripping them of their culture and dignity and placing them in little pockets of land. I'm sure they'll be happy to put your a$$ back on a boat to England or Ireland before they seal up the borders.

nicole   October 14th, 2009 11:42 pm ET

me me me me. who cares about my neighbor. if he can't afford insurance then he's a lazy good for nothing and doesnt' deserve it. me and mine, and sr*w the rest.

what a lovely attitude for a country based on christian values.

Josh Maloney   October 14th, 2009 11:43 pm ET

Reform is coming.

bdf   October 14th, 2009 11:45 pm ET

Holly –
I would like to inform you that I am a proud independent who DOES happen to care about the wars in the Middle East that we Americans are supporting. I do not agree with these wars and still cannot afford health insurance. I certainly do not want to pay for a war when I can't afford to pay for health insurance. I don't even agree on having to pay for something that should be free for all.
Then again! If that's the case, then I suppose we should all return to growing our own gardens (funny, my family does,) raising our own cattle, and sewing our own fabrics together for clothing. We definitely pay a handful of money for those, as well!

George   October 14th, 2009 11:48 pm ET

to reggie from la....

Dear Reggie- uninsured, unemployed, foreclosed and non-participants are in Europe as many as in US or even more. But nobody in the European system cares if they pay in the system or not. They get the benefits w/out problems. How come that in US of A the contributors like you think that only the above people increase the costs?

Let me tell you why? This is how you were brain washed by the lobbyists, and medical insurances that everyone needs to pay for its own not for others. Tell me ask you Reggie, if you pay this year your premium and do not see a doctor the whole year for whom did you pay your insurance ? Not for you Reggie.........SO you are paying for others anyway......

I lived 30 years in Europe before coming in US..All my collegues at work now ask me the same question as you and they tell me the same story. This is what the medical insurance and lobbyists taught you. Period.

They will never say why a anesthesia shot here costs:875$ and in Europe costs:150$. Again in Europe the unemployment rate is much higher than in USA and they all benefit from the same system with the same bill:"zero".
Take care!!!

Ron   October 14th, 2009 11:50 pm ET

Juan as a surgical resident , you should know smoking is an addiction, which is an illness that needs to be treated, granted to get help people need to want help first, but also as a healthcare person you should also know that doctors take the hippocratic oath to treat people no matter what. A doctor's first thoughts should be how to treat the patient not whether they have the ability to pay or if they have insurance. Smoking has long been known to be unhealthy and people should know better but they don't

Bill   October 14th, 2009 11:51 pm ET

How many of the hateful republican anti-humans here who rail against providing health care for everyone support the bonehead wars going on against imaginary boogie men? Yes, I said IMAGINARY, as in we got into a war so Iraq wouldn't use their "weapons of mass destruction" on us. You do know your tax dollars (and mine, and everyone's) pay for that too, right? You are brainwashed cattle, and an embarrassment to humanity.

Joel Dockery   October 14th, 2009 11:52 pm ET

Instead of focusing on the people who don't have health insurance, let's consider those that do. This is the old "haves vs. have-nots" argument. From reading some of these responses, as well as news articles, I infer that many people really do think that others just "have" insurance. Bull. My family makes many sacrifices so that we can have health insurance. I have been "poor" at times, and have lived amongst the "poor", and I will tell you this...most of the "poor" in this country have their own place to live in, several TVs, game systems, computers, and still manage to find time and money to go out drinking and smoking. Heck, I did it, and I lived without health insurance. I could have bought it but piddled away my money. Some people are actually trying to help themselves, and they should be assisted, so get off your butts and help them yourselves! Stop telling my family we should make even more sacrifices so that the "uninsured" can have their cake and eat it too!

Tai   October 14th, 2009 11:52 pm ET

To be honest, I don't believe the American people are aware of the implications of public health care. I have lived in several countries where there is a government run health care system and it far from ideal. Long waits in the doctors office are expected, as well as medicine shortages, and sub par medical care. America needs to move away from socialized health care.

Doctors Are The Problem   October 14th, 2009 11:53 pm ET

What's wrong with the health care system? Doctors for one, the medical profession has NO pro bono requirement, but lawyers do. Medical doctors have entitlement issues, meaning, they are so much better that all of us, they deserve to make outrageous salaries, without any regard for how society as a whole fairs. The U.S. Constitution requires lawyers to work for free by mandating that all persons legal rights are cared for. Doctors have NO such obligation.

The insuance industry is one of the most profitable in the country, and imagine this, no matter what their negotiated rates are, doctors still make enormous amounts of money off of the sick, because they have no ethical requirements.

Pharmacutical companies are the same way, they seem to find money for continued research and turn outrageous profits, with no responsibility to those without medical insurance.

No we don't need free medical for all, before doctors get tort reform, they need to look at how much they are paid, and agree to lower rates or donate their time as an ethical requirement, just like lawyers.

Folks no matter which way you slice it, money has money, and they will not give it up, just look at our banking system, they are running on your tax dollars, and imagine this, they are giving out bonuses. Mr. Obama, our celebrity president, put no restrictions in place on that money he gave freely, because money keeps money, and money makes sure money has money, they say we are in recovery, I say, those responsible for this mess, should work for free until the fall out of their mess is all cleaned up. Keep the talent? The talent destroyed this country and no matter how much Mr. Celebrity talks it will never be the same.

We don't need health care reform we need government reform, I pay enough in taxes, let those who profit from the medical industry foot the bill for free medicine.

People have lost jobs, the economy is a mess, and the only reasons doctors might be making less money now than a year ago, isn't becuase they lowered their rates, it's becasue people CAN'T AFFORD TO GO...

YOu don't need health insurance for all YOU NEED MEDICAL INDUSTRY REFORM.

Lynne   October 14th, 2009 11:53 pm ET

This is definitely a 2-way street topic. Up until last year I had insurance my whole 46 years on earth. My employer chose to use the economy woes to let people go – I was laid off. After 30 days I had no medical insurance. Because I had no income except unemployment I could not afford the almost 600 Cobra premium. So I have been without insurance for 10 months up until my husband was eligible to take out insurance at his new job. It is not paid by his employer but him by premiums coming out weekly. We are barely paying our bills and didn't need this extra expense but we also knew that we needed medical insurance so we can cut out more from our budget that is already at Ethiopia mode now.

Every day you can turn on the tv, read the paper, go outside and see many people who have children or keep having children that have no jobs, most are on welfare, and the vicious cycle continues because they are in a category that keeps them in the system of being dependent on the Government. Why should they have to work?

I never had children because I couldn't afford daycare as I had to work from the age of 15 and my ex husband at the time did not want children. Why would I have chosen to get pregnant and bring a child into the world knowing all of this? While some choose their own selfish reasons to get pregnant and bring a child into the world there are others that do have children and for whatever reason due to unplanned and unforeseen circumstances they lost their health insurance.

I am for some type of reform but mine is to let people be able to purchase insurance in any State they can and make it more competitive just as we can do now with car insurance, etc.

At some point in time when you start robbing Peter to pay Paul,,,Paul is going to be bankrupt and then what?

GetitRight   October 14th, 2009 11:57 pm ET


You are right, up here in Canada, we tax the crap out of Cigarettes and Alcohol so that when those people that indulge get cancer or need a liver transplant, they are still covered because they have been prepaying for that every time they smoked or drank. Secondly, changing laws that prohibit smoking in public areas and such contributes to less smokers. The province of Ontario is suing the tobacco companies up here for $50 billion dollars to cover all the healthcare costs the system endured the past 50 years to take of those people that are irresponsible with their health.

D   October 14th, 2009 11:57 pm ET

It really upsets me that people portray the welfare cheat as the poster child for all welfare. Yes, there are people that take advantage of the system, but that only represents a small minority of the people on welfare programs.

I am a student doctor, and I will graduate in May. I have to see these people EVERYDAY. They are hardworking AMERICANS who cannot legitimately afford care. They don't know their blood pressure has been high for 10 years because they cannot afford to spend $100 for a checkup. They don't know how to manage their diabetes because they cannot afford to have someone sit down with them to explain it to them. And then, they have complications from poor management such as blindness, renal failure, leg amputations that end up being paid for by hospitals, and essentially by your premiums and tax-dollars. Our healthcare system incentivizes the surgeon to do the leg amputation, but not the family doctor to counsel and manage medication to prevent it in the first place. People are saying that we have the best healthcare in the world, but I'm honestly embarrassed about our system. Our technology may be advanced, but our delivery system is a complete joke. The rest of the world is laughing at our squabbling.

I will have a MD in less than a year, and I strongly support a socialized healthcare system. It is the only way to provide for our country. I'm actually disappointed that the Dems are having to compromise with the GOP to get anything done.

Angelique   October 14th, 2009 11:58 pm ET

"so they can redistribute it people who don’t have health insurance and refuse to work"

I always have to laugh at this. People who don't have income have health insurance NOW, it's called Medicaid.

Amy   October 15th, 2009 12:00 am ET

You say that you still had health insurance when you made $2.88 per hour. Well, that adds up to $460 per month working full time, which is actually about the cost of medium-level health insurance. Did you put your entire paycheck toward your health insurance?

Ron   October 15th, 2009 12:02 am ET

Thank you to the Canadians, and Europeans for TELLING the Truth about their National Healthcare. See America it isn't this Evil thing of Socialism like we are being told. Again I don't like paying for someone who isn't putting in either, but it all comes out in the wash all the same. You put in and when people are back to work they put in, so maybe some day you may be out of work and Don't have to worry about healthcare. Like most of us do when we lose our jobs. I bet the number one worry when people lose a job is first what about my house(renter or owner doesn't matter) and the next is omg I lost my health insurance. I heard on the news the other day not all Europe has national healthcare Switzerland has private healthcare, but it is so regulated by the government that it is one of the best in world.

Jus' Saying   October 15th, 2009 12:04 am ET

Why is it that universal law enforcement is ok, but universal healthcare is not? No one has a problem with tax dollars supporting the police departments and most of us never never use those services directly. Why should anyone have a problem with tax dollars going toward heathcare?

Ron   October 15th, 2009 12:06 am ET

Angelique very few people would choose not to work. Given a chance I believe most people choose to work instead of sitting around. I also like the idea of taxing cigs and alcohol. In a weird sense these people are paying their fair share.

Cheryl   October 15th, 2009 12:11 am ET

I am so sick of people trying to say that the reason we don't have health care is because some of us are too lazy to work and spend our money on other things.

I lost my job last year because my company laid off 75% of its work force. I'm am educated, I supported telecommunications software and put my kids through college. I now have a home I'm about to lose, no prospects of a job, my husband is self employed and struggling to pay our everyday bills and I haven't had insurance for over a year. I fear we will be homeless. My husband and I are in our 50s. We worry about what will happen if one of us gets sick. We are both in good health right now. For over 30 years I made a good living and paid for my own healthcare. I have paid taxes into the system for over 30 years and by god its time the government help me in my time of need. I'm not asking for anyone to pay my way, I've already paid it – in taxes. I used to make well over 70K, now I can only help my husband in his office in an effort to help him out.

Ron   October 15th, 2009 12:13 am ET

Tai we have that here in the US already line, long waits and low medical supplies when has anyone made a doctor's appointment and got in actually on time. God forbid you are late you either pay for an office visit that you don't get to keep or you are sitting there for another few hours. To find out that your appointment was the same time as 6 other people's because they are overbooked. No system is going to be prefect, but let me tell you this is very far from being prefect. Huge bills for one little procedure. bills that can bankrupt you. That is just not acceptable. But of course the doctors are going to say well you should have been in years ago to have that taken care of, and when you tell them. I can't afford it they are the first ones to tell you don't worry about cost yet they are the first one to send you the bill!, but doctors really aren't the problem here it's the insurance companies.

DanG   October 15th, 2009 12:16 am ET

For those of you that think that allowing insurance companies to sell their products across statelines will provide economical Healthcare insurance for all. Think again and think about those 30% interest rates on credit cards.

All insurance companies want to do is to set up shop in a state where they can buy and control the rules. Again think South Dakota and the credit card industry. There is no free lunch.

And, Tort reform would only make it easier for more healthcare abuse. Setting a loss limit with no civil penalties will only make more profits not accountability.

Also, all insurance policies should be written in "SIMPLE ENGLISH" so we know what's covered without an legal advice.


Good luck America.

Charlie   October 15th, 2009 12:16 am ET

I took the time to read alot of the comments left on the article. I really do not under stand the people who would spend 660 billion a year on the military and not spend. 900 billion over 10 years for there fellow american. Its crazy! If the no reason war we have been fighting did not break us. How is taking care of our own people going to. There is only one group that will lose out with health care reform. Thats the health care companies. That is why they are spending millions trying to stop this. Wake up America lets take care of our own people for a change. America for Americans!

nicole   October 15th, 2009 12:17 am ET

tai, canada has a socialized health care system. has had it since the '60's. one day i waited two hours. most days i wait about thirty minutes. holidays are more like an hour or two. is that a huge wait? no.

american parties bash the canadian system and hold it up as a failure. however, anyone in canada who needs healthcare, get's the best of what we have or what we can get for them. is that true of the United Dollar of America?

GianCarlo   October 15th, 2009 12:18 am ET

Well let me put it this way GOP. I would prefer to die waiting to see a doctor then to die not being able to see a doctor because I have no insurance. I am sick and tired of your white master race dictating who should live and who should die. Wake up Republicans and retake your party, because the way things are looking, there won't be a Repbublican party left. Get rid of the false prophets called the christian right. You know down deep in your heart that GOD does not tolerate hate, biased and greed.

rockyart   October 15th, 2009 12:18 am ET

so many people argue that universal health care is socialist because you are somehow paying for others.

does that mean that having a road system is socialist? bridges, fire departments, police departments? I pay taxes for the police but I've never called upon their services (thank goodness)–but I pay because I want to know that the safety net is there if I ever should need it. healthcare isn't any different.

For those that claim the government is too involved and are worried about "wasting" their money to pay for others, take a minute to think of all the ways the government DOES WORK in your life.

Jewell   October 15th, 2009 12:18 am ET

Where did you work where you made $2.88/hr and had health insurance? And were you totally covered if something serious happened – like cancer or a bad car accident? I seriously doubt it. As a small business owner and long time free-lancer, I know how expensive health insurance, and HEALTH CARE is for individuals that do not work for corporations. My husband and I pay $318/month for emergency only health insurance that I'm not sure would even cover a real emergency. Why is it, Frank, that every industrialized nation in this country provides health care except America? Maybe you should keep your health care and let those of us that want the choice get what every government employee has. You won't cost you anymore than the ridiculous war we've been in for years.

lisa   October 15th, 2009 12:19 am ET

I am a republican, I believe in Jesus Christ, and yes I will help my neighbors. I will support the health care reform, because I do not want people to go without insurance. Please stop using the word Socialism, I'm so tired of my party using that word. Lets all help our beautiful country!
I will support my President. God bless!

Daryn   October 15th, 2009 12:26 am ET

I don't want free health care, I just want affordable health care. Healthy, self-employed with two sons, my insurance was quoted at $2600 per month. I make a decent living, but $2600/month is still a big chunk of my income. And that is what it costs when I am healthy! Add a slew of uncovered medical services and I'll pay $2600 PLUS! Oddly enough, I can also get that very same insurance through an employer and it would only cost me $250 per month (save me your BS, my employer would not be paying $2600 per month for my insurance under any circumstances). Is working for a corporation a requirement for surviving a curable disease in America? Let me form an Uninsured Americans Group and I'll use my collective bargaining power to get us a good affordable health plan and the government won't have to do a damn thing (or pay a cent). I want affordable care, not free care.

kim   October 15th, 2009 12:26 am ET

meidy... you ask
Why do we view health insurance differently than car insurance or home insurance? Well dear if your car is totalled you can buy a new one. If your house burns down you can build a new one. UM...but guess what...if you die becasue some insurance executives underling decides you are not worthy of coverage...even though you paid your premium? You cant buy or build a new you....and its pretty tough to rebuild your life after some company has seen fit to rob you blind and then deny you coverage. Pray this does not happen to you.
Things are things... people are people... treatment of things should be different than treatment of people hon. Treatment of people should be better than treatment of things... in fact. Universal health care works for everyone...including you...including the rich and including the poor. AS for health insurance Canada they get the CRUMBS !
Tell me... what the heck is wrong with paying a tax intead of a premium if it means never being cut off when you need health care? kim... ontario canada... land of scary socialism, iggloos and hockey oh yeah and FREE health care...

JohnG   October 15th, 2009 12:26 am ET

You can blame it on the insurance companies. They tell doctors what they will pay them for their services, they tell you what you pay for policies. If you don't have insurance, insurance companies force the doctor to charge full rate or be dropped from their HMO. Catch 22. When we had our last child the hosiptal bill cost over $40,000. The hosiptal gave the insurance company a $36,000 discount and my insurance paid the other $4,000. Without insurance their is no discount!
He who has the gold makes the rules!

Audrey in Georgia   October 15th, 2009 12:26 am ET

President Obama made the case for health care reform so simple
when he said we have public and private schools, we can have public
and private health care. Now the question is how do we pay for it?
One way to pay for health care is to downsize the Federal Housing
Administration and all it receives from our government to insure houses
and help people with downpayments. ENOUGH!!!! It is time to insure
the people who live in the houses and not the houses. Houses are
cheaper now as they should be. We only get one body, but we can
get plenty of houses over a lifetime.

HopeforAmerica   October 15th, 2009 12:30 am ET

if anything, it's even good that we are having this discussion....under the Bush(the pro big business, pro wall street, pro lobbyist) regime this would have never happened.

Secondly, while we are at it, let's change the gun laws and get all the guns off the street and stop the senseless killing; let's stop shopping at Wal-mart and any other retailer until they start buying from American companies that produce goods and jobs right here in America so everyone can get back to work; let's stop caring what happens on Wallstreet and the Dow Index anymore and focus on what really matters because 99% aren't getting any bonuses; let's get everyone to quit their insurance polices from companies that caused the bailout and still gave out massive bonuses; let's ban the lobbyists from stepping a foot on government property; let's remove all our troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and let those two countries and the surrounding countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria sort out their own problems anyway they think is appropriate; let's start volunteering our time to fix up the rotting downtown inner cities in our hometowns; let's hold those people on TV and radio that spew or incite hatred and fear accountable for the divide they cause in America; let's take those we elect to task for not representing us properly or waffling in their jobs.....but first, let's change our healthcare system so we are all healthy enough to take care of ourselves so we can be strong and united in tackling these other ill's that are keeping America from being greater than it is.

GianCarlo   October 15th, 2009 12:30 am ET

This country is so hypocrital. It refers to itself as a Christian Jedeo country. Yet, the heart of this Christian movement (The Republicans) are the one's who are silent and in most cases against universal health care for every American. Why? well I think it's because these same hypocritical people are the greed behind the insurance companies. American christians, you are a joke to this country.

Why are you not as forceful and voiceful towards universal health care as you are against Gay marriage or anything gay for that matter.

Terry   October 15th, 2009 12:30 am ET

I am 62 years old with a severe heart condition and diabetes. I have worked since I was 16 years old. I recently lost my job due to cutbacks. I was able to stay on Cobra for 6 months but that is up in December. I receive 1632.00 a month from social security. I checked the price of insurance and was told i had to go thru the "risk pool" because I am uninsurable. I will now have to pay 1000.00 per month for far less coverage than I now have. I will have a 2500.00 deductible, so basically I pay 12,000 for insurance a year and then I have to pay another 2500.00 plus my copays and my percentage of coverages. All this on 1632.00 per month. There is no way..This is not my choice, but I cannot pass a physical to go to work at any other job. There got to be something done with our healthcare and soon.

Nickie   October 15th, 2009 12:32 am ET

When you made $2.88 an hour how much was your health insurance? I currently have a good job but with health insurance premiums increasing about 7% plus a year my family will soon not be able to afford health insurance and my employer will not be able to pay increasing premiums. I think there should be health insurance reforms. No one should be without insurance and I don't believe that most people who are without it are wasting money on Ipods and cell phones. They don't have it because insurance is to expensive and they simply can't afford it. I know several small business owners who want to provide insurance to their employees but can't because of outrageous health insurance premiums. I think it is selfish of people to believe that all people who are uninsured are people that refuse to work or aren't responsible. Just because you might be doing well now does in no way insure that your future is going to be as wonderful. You could honestly be one medical crisis from the poor house. Just something to think about.

Eric   October 15th, 2009 12:32 am ET

It was reported on CNN that 47% of the US population pays NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX. How about everyone paying their share of federal income tax and use that money to pay for the health care system overhaul? Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes because everyone uses government services. Pretty simple.

You will have to forgive me if I am not rushing out to pay more taxes so others can have free health care. I pay my fair share of federal, state, local, property, and social security taxes. Must I pay more to cover for others who don't? I bet a large percentage of those 47% who pay no federal income tax are the same people who have no health insurance and want the federal government to provide it.

Morgan   October 15th, 2009 12:35 am ET

To those of you out there that "don't want to pay for my health insurance". I am self-employed and would love to pay for health insurance, but, as a single healthy male, my insurance costs were quoted at almost $2000 per month...beyond what I can afford. As a result, I am uninsured. Last night I fell and twisted my wrist. What does an uninsured American use when he doesn't have health insurance? The emergency room! I went to the emergency room and left my health care bill sitting on your taxpaying back and that's going to cost you suckers big! Ha ha ha, good plan morons! Go ahead and pay about 10x what it would cost if I had insurance and could see a regular doctor at his/her office. You don't want me to have affordable coverage? That's fine with me. Enjoy sucking on my emergency room health care expenses!

Bradley Gray   October 15th, 2009 12:38 am ET

People don't care because it doesn't affect them. My college professor
said "people don't care until it affects them". We need to assist each other, however, I don't believe making health care a "TAX" is the right solution. Making people pay , TAX" ( Health Care Premium), is on the road to being a tyrant and that isn't about freedom. Freedom is about being aloud to make choices. Our government has been eliminating choices for quiet some time and they feel entitled to tell us what to do. When something doesn't pay for it self and we keep digging a deeper hole of deficit spending, there is something definitely wrong ABOUT THAT????!!! Maybe people could give extra money for those less fortunate AND IT CAN GO TO A FUND for THOSE WHO CAN'T AFFORD IT. They should really focus on prevention. They use to say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". GET THEM TO STOP SCREWING WITH OUR FOOD......NO GMO!!!!!!!

Peter   October 15th, 2009 12:40 am ET

If you dont like American healthcare and think Europe's is better then go ahead and move there. As an immigrant to the USA I can tell you that socialized medicine is a joke and doesnt work. 70 percent of people in Australia (a place with "free healthcare") buy private insurance because the public option is aweful- waiting lines of 2 years for a hip replacement is not fun.

People need to realize that they may not be able to have the second car, or third car, or any car, as they need to pay for health insurance. We need to tune the system , not destroy it.

Take my advice as a 23 yr resident of australia and now 17 yr resident of the USA: YOU DO NOT WANT A PUBLIC OPTION!!!! the service is aweful and it becomes a bloated bureaucracy. people will need to realize that they need to buy healthcare, food and other necessities before they buy a new car, new house or other discretionary item. most people in fabulous europe DO NOT OWN A HOUSE BECAUSE THEY CANT AFFORD IT DUE TO RIDICULOUS TAXES.


Chris   October 15th, 2009 12:40 am ET

The problem with ALL the present proposals is that they don't improve access to care on a real level for the working poor. We don't have health insurance because we can't afford the premiums, and even if we could, we can't afford the copays and deductibles in order to access care. As it stands, we might be able to access free clinics like yours or use federal HCAP funds to obtain some care, but those resources will disappear under present "reform" proposals.

Your patient's conditions are very expensive to treat, and at least for me, a $2,500 deductible and a $50,000 medical bill are basically the same – absolutely insurmountable, bankrupting events. Even worse, now Congress wants to fine me for being unable to afford to pay premiums. Their fines will be less than my premiums would be, and either way, I'm unable to access the care I need, but instead of being able to afford to pay the occasional doctor privately, Baucus & his crew will be taking food away from my children, so the thought of ever being able to see a doctor will become a pipe dream.

Connor   October 15th, 2009 12:41 am ET

If bullets and explosives could cure my health problems, America would spare no expense in pumping me with millions of dollars worth! Republicans would be knocking each other down in hopes that they could be the one to cure me.

Irene   October 15th, 2009 12:41 am ET

Insurance is not a free ticket. I have insurance and am low income, so a minor medical emergency can set my family back into extreme poverty for as long as a year. Co-pays, deductibles, the 20 percent for in network, 40 for out. There is No seeing the dentist for us parents, and self diagnosis is becoming a neccesity (at least with adults) cause doctors will just pass you around, with no regard to the fact you are spending your grocery money to be seen for a serious, painful or possibly life threatening problem. I appreciate the older doctors, they seem to have the most compassion, in my experience. I am a young person and almost all the young doctors I have seen know very little and care even less. Health care reform has SOOOO many issues to address, even more than insuring the uninsured, although, that is very very important.

Ann   October 15th, 2009 12:43 am ET

I think that as this debate goes on, people need to remember how insurance works. Insurance is NOT a way to make health care cheaper for everyone. Insurance is a way of preparing for a catastrophe. There are winners and losers (well, financially anyway). It doesn’t matter what system we adopt there will always be winners and losers. Good healthcare takes a lot of resources, and SOMEBODY has to pay for them. Only innovation and progress can make healthcare cheaper for everybody. Lucky for us our healthcare system is really good at that. At my age, I'll probably have to live with the healthcare system for another 60 years. All I ask that we really think this all the way through before messing with anything.

Jennifer   October 15th, 2009 12:44 am ET

I guess ignorance must be bliss, because all I see people talking about is the extreme arguments or all or nothing. It is possible to find a happy medium if we can take a lesson from countries that have adjusted healthcare to work for them!
I lived in Japan for a year and because they haven't aloud business to become the focus of healthcare, they've maintained low cost for everyone! You can choose to have healthcare full coverage or pay out of pocket and it won't drive you to bankruptcy.

I went to the emergency room uninsured, I was admitted within 15 minutes, treated over the course of an hour and a half, and it cost me the equivalent of 80 U.S. (that's including the cost of my E.K.G. ) How many people can say they have ever left an E.R. inside of 4 hours and it didn't cost triple figures? The average visit to the doctor, after your first registration (40$) was about 13 U.S. I've seen it work and it worked better that the medical care I've seen in here in the U.S.!

Klaus   October 15th, 2009 12:45 am ET

About time someone in the public eye has the guts to stand up against the healthcare nightmare.......
Just a short comment.....
A public option would effectively create competition, and bring costs down!
The insurance companies are paying your local (GOP) lawmakers to defeat this bill...
It's nothing more than greed.....
Oh, by the way to all those folks who think Americans are are the ones developing "super drugs", you're mostly wrong. In fact most of the finest and most effective drugs are developed outside the US....
So, my question is: Why are we paying so much?
I'll tell you why...
Because we've been brainwashed by big money which buys big and important people....not to mention a few radio and television networks!
even propaganda is considered "free speech"

GetitRight   October 15th, 2009 12:47 am ET


Keep in mind, many of those not paying taxes are the unemployed that are making no money to pay taxes...why....because AIG and WallStreet robbed the American taxpayer blind, then asked you to fix the problem they created and so they could make their bonus payments...OR...because big American firms are running to China to make the things you buy rather than supporting local job creation, not so you get cheaper goods, it's so they can have bigger bonuses....OR...because the US Gov is spending American into bankruptcy to support two wars in countries that in the end will be very 'thankless' for your support. Americans at the grass-roots need to unite, and start massively punishing the firms and the government representatives that refuse to do the right thing...stop buying AIG Insurance, Stop going to Bank of America to open an account, Stop dealing with financial companies assoicated with the bail-out and START taking back America from the rich and powerful....they are not the "Representative" in your Representative Democracy.

michael   October 15th, 2009 12:48 am ET

No American Left Behind: Support Single Payer Healthcare Now

Chris   October 15th, 2009 12:53 am ET

Just to put some numbers with the scenario. I make less than $16,000 per year working substantially full time. Because I have been heavy all my life, the premium quoted for me (not including my children) is $13,200/yr and the state's health care underwriting organization says that is reasonable.

In my entire life, including my birth, I have not expended $13,200 in health care expenses, but that want that for ONE year, and want me to pay the first $2,500 of expenses each year and 20% of everything after that. If Max Baucus can explain how I can live off of $3,800 a YEAR perhaps I'll think differently. Seriously, even $100 a month is $100 less that I would have to feed my children – they will go without.

Another kicker – because my premium is so high, under some interpretations of the current proposal, if I was ever able to afford to buy a policy, I would be taxed because of how much I must pay for insurance. NONE of the current proposals will change this because I am self employed. After much research, this bill will actually REDUCE my access to health care.

brad   October 15th, 2009 12:56 am ET

This is only part of the tragedy. there are tens of millions more who have insurance but cannot use it. as a small business owner I pay almost 1000 per month to insure my family. And, the insurance NEVER pays a dime until I spend another $8000 out of pocket each year first. Oh yea, a better rate is available if I agree to NOT insure my daughter because of some heart tests. this is killing small in the businesses. Those who fight Obama's efforts in the name of protecting business have one business in mind–the insurance business.

GetitRight   October 15th, 2009 1:01 am ET

Here's something funny (well, maybe it isn't), i got online to buy healthcare coverage for a 365 day trip to the US, it comes out to less than what some of you have quoted here in this forum for one months premium.

So, I recommend that all of you change your status from permanent citizen/resident to 'just visiting' perpetually, get online to a Canadian insurance company and you'll save a bundle 🙂

andy   October 15th, 2009 1:02 am ET

To Bill: Republican anti-human? What do you really think that there is an imaginary issue in Iraq? Are you stupid? You need to pull out some news papers from the past oh 20 years or so and look at how many bombings have occured world wide AND against the USA. All done by terrorist. Do you really think that if we retreat back to the good ol USA that they will just say "ok, we're done with the bombings" and we will never see another 9/11? If so, then you are an idiot. If you do not belive me, then find out where the closest National Guard Unit is, then when they have weekend drill, then present your opinion to them...I hope they kick your fanny from here to kindgom come. Be thankful that we have Armed Services taking the terrorist fight to them on THEIR soil. Better yet, why don't you enlist and do your part rather than complain like a artsy-fartsy live in a perfect world moron. The world is a better place with out Saddam Hussein...if Bill Clinton had done his job and taken care of Hussein and Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance, we would not be in the position we are in right now. And leave the CIA alone......they call it intelligence for a reason...the terrorist are not going to send a pink post it to the United States announcing thier next move.
To the rest of you that want a public option health insurance option or health insurance for everyone: One are you going to pay for it? This is another entitlement. Entitlements account for OVER 50 % of federal spending. A public option would be an option if the 47% of US households that don't currently pay income taxes would get off of their lazy 5th point of contact and actually pay some income taxes. Yes, 47% or 71 million households don't pay income taxes and a good portion of those are getting paid. The reason our health care system is so expensive is 1) we are using health insurance as a 3rd party payor rather than insurance. Try to get your auto insurer to pay for your oil changes and tires and see how expensive auto insurance gets. If we started paying for our doctor visits and prescriptions in full out of our pocket rather than paying a measly co-pay, we would visit the doctor less, use less prescriptions and maybe let our white blood cells do thier know fight infections, viruses and bacteria? We have become a drug dependent society. 2) Tort – we have cultivated a sue-happy society. Bogus lawsuits cost us all (when I say "us all" I mean contributing members of society...not the dead beats) a mountain of money. 3) Indigent care and by indigent I mean illegal immigrant care. The coke machines in hospitals get more money out of illegal immigrants than the hospitals do for thier care....all 12 million of them. Get rid of the illegal immigrants, open up 12 million jobs held by them and you just took care of our unemployment problem....what, you don't like mowing grass for a living...tough pays, puts food on the table and removes you from the unemployment line, food stamp line, energy assistance line, rent assistance line, and free insurance line.
Wake up America. Time to pull up your pants and change your maxim pads, stop crying, kick out the illegals and drains on society, swallow your pride and do what needs to be done to earn a living for your families. Be a solution to the problems, not fuel for the fires. Now, go thank your employer and a soldier.

DJK   October 15th, 2009 1:02 am ET

45,000 Americans DIE every year because they do not have healthcare!?!

What death certificate cites 'lack of health care' as the cause of death?

Ken   October 15th, 2009 1:05 am ET

Dr. Oz,

Thanks for the insightful comments and remarks.

The question upon is not what is good, but what is the best way to get it!

To provide for all, some tough decisions or rationing have to be made.

Are we ready for it?

One CANNOT have it all.

To say that we can insure everyone and also have every person demand the right to have bypass surgery if needed, well this is not possible.

Also how much do you, Dr. Oz, charge for a 3-vessel bypass surgery anyways? Also at what age do you think a person should not be qualified for bypass surgery, so that a 3-year-old can have his valve fixed?

Kristi   October 15th, 2009 1:07 am ET

I'm a nurse and currently have no health insurance. How does that strike you? I see people come in all day long in our ER with state insurance, women that have the newest blackberry phone, nails all done, expensive bags, and a pair of Uggs on their feet and somehow still "FIT" the qualifications to get medical assistance. I work 70-80 hours a week as a nurse and I'm a single mom yet I can't afford the expensive insurance offered by my work (it's a privately owned company) yet make too much to get state insurance, though I am willing to pay the deductible. My child doesn't qualify either because of my income. I'm not asking for medical assistance but affordable insurance through the state. My child and I are skating by on pure luck...If anything should happen to either one of us I would be financially devistated. Then again.....maybe that's what I should do. Quit my job and let the state pay for everything.

Judy from Plano, TX   October 15th, 2009 1:07 am ET

I am always amused when healthcare reform critics discussing any type of government healthcare inevitably cite other government endeavors such as the postal system as being such failures. In fact, it has been my experience that the postal service generally runs quite well at a very minimal cost when one considers the vast volume of mail they deal with. Do they make errors? Of course, but so do the private enterprise versions FedEX and UPS, as I can bear witness to first hand. As to the postal service's financial viability, they simply need to rid themselves of carrying all that advertising junk mail to benefit business at the expense of their own budget. Of course, while business likes to criticize the USPS, they sure aren't willing to give up this low cost perk, either.

It is also interesting that health reform critics railing against any government option never mention the government's acknowledged successes in business endeavors such as the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) which has been a great success, is entirely self sufficient, and has served the poor areas of southern Appalachia quite well with flood control and inexpensive "green" hydroelectric power since the 1930's.

Healthcare reform critics also like to threaten that our healthcare system will morph into something like the Canadians or the Brits have if we go with a public option. They like to cite some individual horror stories where perhaps those system didn't work well. However, many of these "horror stories" didn't really hold water or at best were exaggerated when reporters tried to confirm them. But most telling of all is that Canadians and British both have expressed outrage when accused of being generally unhappy with their systems. They point out that they are very satisfied with their healthcare programs for the most part.

kim   October 15th, 2009 1:08 am ET

Just an observation... you guys down there have things backwards.

Health care needs to be a right... like maybe replace the second ammendment. Whereas...handgun ownership needs to be a privilege....and be subject to being taken away when you get sick....;)

there you go... problem solved. : /


kelly   October 15th, 2009 1:13 am ET

So, how much $ in taxes are we talking for a national health care plan? Would it be more than all the $ I have already "put into the system" over the years and never used? For twenty years I have paid into "the system" and can thankfully say that I did not have the need for doctor care or emergency visits, but I am still out all of the money that I was required to pay just in case something came up. in one of these posts someone mentioned that healthcare in Maine would cost them $18,000.00 a year. Why is that okay? I am starting to wonder who the big evil is here, the Democrats, the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, or those that are so afraid of change that it is just easier to fight what you don't understand.

sam   October 15th, 2009 1:14 am ET

To me everybody who says universal health like in Europe is bad and they have long waiting lines just does not understand and probably never lived in Europe but just repeats the GOP statements. From someone who live in Brussels for several years the so called socialistic universal health car that we consider so bad here is top notch over there. Waiting lists do not exist, you have your primary doctor just like here who plans your treatment with you. The biggest difference is that he communicates with the other doctors so no test or procedure is duplicated because they are not paid by how many x procedures they perform. Before leaving Europe i had a sports accident that infected my toe nail, the doctor prescribed Lamisil for 90 to cure the infection it only cost me 12 Euros in the US it would have been almost $800 as this is not covered by the insurance company it is considered non important. The insurance company would rather you go for the rest of your life with nail fungus than treat it because it cuts into their bottom line. This is the good old US of A.

insu   October 15th, 2009 1:18 am ET

what upsets me is that people go on and on about who's right and who's wrong, blaming doctors and people who don't have jobs. but the real problem is the insurance company who makes ridiculous profits , trying to scam people whenever they can with conditional coverages which offers patients absolutely nothing when we need them the most. they've spent so much money on politicians in washington, lobbying their rear off, funding their election campaign, making sure no politician can ever argue why the insurance company is the biggest problem in our system.
all these insurance CEOs are laughing at us right now, confirming that it is not their fight.

Autmom   October 15th, 2009 1:19 am ET

My husband makes six figures but 15% of his income goes to our very basic medical care for a family of five. Glasses, a root canal, well baby visits. We budget for health care, we have the evil iphones, and (OMG!!!!) my husband even has a tattoo (soooo irresponsible!!!). What we don't expect are bills for $1800 when Blue Cross says repairing my 2 year old's chin from impaling his face on a copper pipe is an unreimbursable elective "cosmetic" surgery. Cosmetic? Elective? Next time I will just leave the pipe hanging out of my screaming child's chin to stop the bleeding. It was, after all, kind of entertaining watching my other five year old try to stop the bleeding with his shirt and hands as I raced to the emergency room. Did I pay the bill? Yes. Did I think being denied coverage for that was a load of cr@p? Hmmm.....20% of our income and they can't cover that? Really?

Keith B   October 15th, 2009 1:23 am ET

FRANK: And I, likewise, am perturbed that I should have to pay for the war that George Bush started and it's trillion dollar price tag, the redistribution of wealth that his Interior Department allowed when it renegotiated oil contracts (costing hundreds of billions) with Dutch Shell et al over oil taken off federal land, the trillion dollar increase in health care costs under George Bush because of Republicans' unwillingness to reform health care (while 50 million Americans remain uninsured), the $220 billion the US will be obligated for EACH YEAR to finance just the national debt accumulated under George Bush, and the fallout from the worst economic debacle in the last 70 years which drove unemployment claims through the roof, and tax receipts at both federal and state levels down due to the increase in unemployment.

ALL THAT came out of your pocket., too. but did you object to any of that?

Funny thing is that 46,000 Americans die each year due to lack of being insured. If 46,000 Americans were dying due to a terrorist attack, folks like you would be raising hell.

What if, in the case of a national emergency when Americans needed to unite, the 50 million uninsured Americans simply said "go screw yourselves!" You didn't fight for me when I needed it, why should I do the same for you?"

Edwin   October 15th, 2009 1:25 am ET

Little Sherez has a point: "Why should I pay for other folks health coverage? No one pays anything for me. I make 60K per year, pay my taxes and I get by. No fancy cars, no fancy house, no fancy nothing. I really resent this."

So no one pays anything for you? What about public schools? Or public roads being serviced (at least sometimes)? Or fire engines? Or police? Or the cost to build and maintain electricity output for you house? The government used your tax money to do those things. I'm sure there are a lot of people who pay more taxes than you and resent that you get those things so cheaply.

Oh, I forgot - the military. No armies march into the U.S. and kill civilians. Your taxes are pretty darn cheap, compared to the horrors they prevent.

If someone else who doesn't have the option of a 60K job gets more for their tax buck than you do, count yourself lucky that you get all the things that you obviously take for granted. If the people who made 600K a year whined as much as you, you wouldn't have them.

Lisa Wysocky   October 15th, 2009 1:26 am ET

My only child, my son, died earlier this year because he could not get health insurance. Age 23 with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and panic disorder, two Nashville hospitals turned him away, even though he told medical staff he couldn't go on. Six weeks later he was dead of an overdose of an illegal drug. There is a special place in heaven for doctors and nurses who treat those without insurance. The uninsured are people, too, and they are not always uninsured by choice. I pray our lawmakers will find a way for everyone to receive the dignity of health care. I pray that no other mother has to endure the horror I now live.

Al   October 15th, 2009 1:31 am ET

Am not sure where all Americans get there information from but NO Canadians die because they can't get a DR. and yes our Dr. are as good if not better the American Dr.

My sister in law a registered nurse in Canada took a six month leave to work in one of your hospital's she went home crying everynight because of the poor and unprofessional treatment they were getting.She is now back in Canada and would never again consider moving south. I know of no Canadians that have gone bankrupt or have lost there homes because of medical bills. My insurance cost $0.00 the same insurance in the states would be $800 a month with a $10,000 deductible now you tell me who as better health care. Here health care is just not for the rich it is for all Canadians.

Keith B   October 15th, 2009 1:31 am ET

DJK: It's called diabetes, heart disease, etc etc etc.

ACT LIKE you have a little bit of intelligence when you post messages, alright?

J.U.   October 15th, 2009 1:33 am ET

Dr. Oz you performed a single by-pass on me in March 2001 and in July 2001 I had to have a stent placed in the by-pass you performed on me because when you were sewing the by-passed artery back together you snagged the new artery and closed it even more than it had been closed prior to my by-pass surgery
My question to you is this.. at the time you were performing my operation were you the one who closed me up after the by-pass was done or were you working on another patient as well and had someone else close me up. I have all my records as well as the videos of my stenting of that artery to show you what you did.
I than had to have another by-pass surgery in September of 2001 because of all the stenosis and damage to that original by-passed artery.
So all in all I had 2 open heart surgeries 2 stents and countless cardiac catheterizations as well as many trips to emergency rooms in a 6 month period because of you. So I would appreciate your response to my question
At the time of my open heart surgery how many patients were you working on?
It won’t be hard for you to figure out who I am. You know me and you know what happen to me and you have never tried to contact me

the RIGHT is wrong   October 15th, 2009 1:36 am ET

If ppl are gettin preventive care and live longer take less sink days off and are more productive. what does that create. TAXES!! that pay for the healt care they are using to stay healthy.. yes some ppl who cant afford it wil get it free or almost free. but hey why not just beat the crap out of them with a pipe wrench on pay per view to pay for the health care? i mean if the right doesnt care if they live of die what the difference? and IF the RIGHT cared more about all of us IN the USA and are trying to stay afloat. pay check top pay check . while they suckle from the "tet" of big business and the healh care industry. they woud be 1000% behind this . a health country is a strong counrty .. P.S. care more about the living and keep them living then what they do in their own bed room behind closed doors. RIGHT WING. repressed old farts.

Marnie   October 15th, 2009 1:36 am ET

I am divorced, lost my job as a teacher, and could have continued my insurance through Cobra for a short period of time but couldn't afford to. I am 60 and scared to death. What if I should need medical care? And isn't it just a matter of time when you are 60? Think about that phrase.. "scared to death" how many older divorced women go to bed at night wondering what will happen to them. They are our moms and our grandmas. Shouldn't we care about them?

TIL   October 15th, 2009 1:39 am ET

I know this may seem a little bit aggressive but.....SCREW YOU to all of you people complaining of giving up your "hard earned money" to people who "refuse to work" or "won't give up iPods" or whatever. I am 23 years old, educated on a full academic scholarship at a top-15 US News & World Report ranked university. I graduated with excellent credentials, have strong work experience with several nationally recognized companies (um, National Geographic, anyone?), come from a family with good connections, and I still CANNOT GET A JOB so I CANNOT GET INSURANCE. My parents' insurance through my father's employer is very good but does not allow children over 23 to remain on their parents' policies (because, naturally, that would be too deleterious to the insurance company's profits);I was not accepted into graduate school because of the glut of applicants trying to av oid having to make a go at the workforce in this economy, so I am not eligible for any student-subsidized plans. I have been forced to take an unpaid part-time job in my career field so I can get the basic job experience I need to have a professional future, so I can't afford to buy my own insurance, even $80/month major-medical only plans. I am also a full-time athlete trying to make a US National Team...imagine how terrifying it is just to keep training every day in the event I have a freak accident and injure myself. I am young and in great health, but so was Lance Armstrong when he developed cancer. Some days it borders on paranoia, my fear that something will happen to me and I will die because I cannot afford any kind of medical care, and people in this country think that they are somehow feeding a lazy, seedy underworld of losers by supporting anything even remotely "socialized." There are hundreds of thousands, millions, of intelligent, educated, hard-working, responsible Americans who, through no fault of their own, are shut out entirely from our system. Please, tell me to my face that I don't deserve to catch a break. I would LOVE a job that would supply me with benefits - if you're hiring, please let me know! - but the reality is that even for over-achievers like me it's not currently a possibility. And because the only really reasonable way to afford insurance in this country is through an employer, I am, as the saying goes, s**t out of luck.

So please, forgive me if I sound outrageous for requesting a public healthcare option from my government.

Diane   October 15th, 2009 1:40 am ET

People can justify their views any way they want, but those who don't want everyone to have good health care are just plain selfish.

N.S,   October 15th, 2009 1:43 am ET

Can America Afford Americans and Conversely Can Americans Afford America. We want insurance to pay for Viagra and Flomax and dentures and multiple other things. On the other hand no one has said how we will reduce the cost of providing healthcare, In a country where people make less that 40K a year medicine and hospital care for some diseases can run in the six figures. How absurd is that.

Keith B   October 15th, 2009 1:43 am ET

Andy: Would you like to explain why RONALD REAGAN and George HW BUSH didn't do THEIR JOB with Iraq? Who do you suppose was giving Saddam Hussein tens of billions of dollars in the 1980s?

Are you so naiive to believe that Saddam just became naughty in the past few years? Come on, do your homework.

Now, if someone kicked me in the face, I'd go look for the guy that kicked me instead of looking for some other person to hit. Makes sense, right? Well, why didn't we do that, since Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Even Bush's own CIA discredited Bush's assertions to that end. SO make sure you get your lies straight before you shooting your mouth off, alright?

You'll also need to do a little homework on how the Republicans wanted to allow 60 million new immigrants in over the next 20 years in legislation that passed the Senate about 3 years ago, when Republicans ruled. Lou Dobbs of CNN was all over this story.

Do your homework a little bit and come back when you finally figure things out. We'll all be better off for it.

Roy Stark   October 15th, 2009 1:45 am ET

CNN is a wing of the Democratic pary. Name a program controlled by the government that isn't going broke. Now we want another government program? It's a shame we don't require politicians to have an accounting degree. Nothing is free folks. I am appalled that there are Americans who want a socialist country. What is truly scary is that the Hollywood and New York crowd is totally oblivious to middle America. It's like these folks have no idea of the people who live in between LA and NY. They do exist. They are very different than those who live in an urban seeting. Just because they don't live in a big city does not mean that they are stupid. Yes, middle America wants health care reform but we do not want the public option. You see....we don't live in a big city where you grow up having the government providing everything. We don't live in a concrete jungle. Life in small town America means you have to use your own initiative more than an urban dweller. Now, I can see some of you turning red faced at this point. If you're blowing your stack thats because you truly do not understand middle America. The public option is just another way of having the government controlling your life. For seniors it's a serious blow to your health. And by the way....Providing health for illegals affends me.

Keith B   October 15th, 2009 1:51 am ET

The Realist: Taxes are the lowest they've been in all but 5 of the last 77 years, so, what are you even talking about?

As far as redistributing the wealth, perhaps you'd like to explain why the Bush administration was so adamant in doing the same? After all, the Bush Interior Department renegotiated oil contracts with Dutch Shell and other big oil companies (at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to the federal government) taking oil off FEDERAL property (now, THAT'S REAL REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH).

Oh yeah, and for those who WON'T WORK, please point us in the right direction to find the millions of jobs lost due to the economic calamity known as the George Bush presidency! You'll have to keep reminding me how great his record was. If you'll recall, one of the reasons for the $1.35 trillion tax cut for the wealthy was to create jobs in America. Unfortunately, he had the WORST JOB CREATION RECORD OF ANY PRESIDENT ON RECORD!

Don't let your opinions, however, get in the way of the facts. I don't think you can handle the truth !

Matthew   October 15th, 2009 1:55 am ET

I am a 25 year old guy without health insurance. Not because I want to be, but because I have a pre-existing medical condition that isn't a "good investment" to the insurance companies.

I was born with severe mental illness... and all I want to do is get a college degree, pay my taxes, and have a white picket fence surrounding a home I can call my own.

Though without just a little help to get insurance... I may join the one million who commit suicide each year. Sixty percent of them suffer from mental illness.

I want to do so many great things but all I may be is a tax burden without help.

Student soon to be Dr.   October 15th, 2009 1:58 am ET

I support Healthcare reform. It breaks my heart to see so many people who can't afford or get care. I work very hard and the reward I get is through knowing that I helped someone and made a difference (be it a little or a lot) in their lives.

Albert Barraza   October 15th, 2009 2:01 am ET

It is extremely sad to see that we as Americans do not want to help one another. Many here say that we are not responsible for paying for their mistakes, then take that same logic and put on the face of public schools. Since some people dont have enough money to put their kids in private school, we shouldnt have to pay for everyone else to be put in public school. That sounds about the same and pretty certain you probably went to public school. Just so you know I am republican, but have enough morals and common sense to know that everyone should have health insurance. We are the wealthiest country in the world, but yet are not any healthier for it. Stories like these are the reality in the US. I am an Office Manager at a Pediatric Clinic and we recently hosted a similar event, 800 people showed up who did not have insurance.

kim   October 15th, 2009 2:04 am ET

kelly...Do you have health care insurance now? Do you pay a premium ? or are you gambliing that you wont get sick?

What is worse to call money for health care, a tax, and regulate it... or to keep calling it a premium and keep it unregulated and in the hands of "for profit" companies.

I am glad my health care is not in the hands of people who need to show a good bottom line profit.

This BS line about goverment taking rights away...or taking control of health care is ridiculous. Just scare tactics put out by these companies and the politicians who support them... who stand to lose money when they lose their CASH COW... the American people.

If you value your freedom so much in the U.S. as we keep hearing over and over again to the point of obsession... then you care about people. Why is it so hard to then draw a line directly from free people to healthy people.

Without health....there is no freedom. Without safe income, safe retirement funds, and reliable affordable health care... what is the point in being free. Free to suffer and wallow in debt I guess. kim...ontario canada


I'd much rather have laws preventing

redplanet   October 15th, 2009 2:05 am ET

According to Dr. Barbara Starfield of Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors, making this the third-largest cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer.

I have no insurance. I doctor myself much better than any mainstream MD. They are woefully ignorant of real medicine – they are trained by med school curriculum written by pharmaceutical companies.

As a graduate student I was diagnosed with RA by a Stanford board certified rheumatologist. He wanted me to go on steroids and screamed at me when I told him I would not. I designed my own protocol and have no evidence of the disease. He told me I could never get better without steroids. I told him to go to hell. Another MD told me I had cancer and insisted I see a specialist. I told her it was certainly not cancer. A year later she begrudgingly accepted the fact she was wrong.

I diagnosed myself with lupus and saw an MD. He had retired from Stanford as a surgeon and began practicing real health care – orthomolecular med. He told me I probably had it but it was so under control with my protocol that he would not change a thing. I also have reversed diagnosed by me and confirmed by MD, hypothyroidism.

I developed heart issues. I could not move from the couch. My breathing was labored. I had my adult son put the symptoms into google with the name of Stephen Sinatra, MD, a board certified cardiologist. who does alternative med. Voila! We found d-ribose by reading from his work.. I take it every day and rebounded back to health.

If I listened to MD's there would be one more dead person due to their incompetence of this I have no doubt.

I want all to have excellent health care – it just isn't going to come from giving more people access to our medical system. We need to reform health care, not insurance.

andy   October 15th, 2009 2:09 am ET

Kim from Ontario,
Pull a history book and read. Right to bear arms dates back to the beginning of our Country.

Should everyone have health coverage..sure. Is it a RIGHT? I don't think so.

Diane, I WANT everyone to have good health care. Fundamentally, I don't think it is a right in the County for our Government to provide it. I think it is a responsibility of each able American to do what it takes to obtain it. The main problem is that health coverage is so expensive. Congress is doing little to address this problem. I.E. Tort reform and indigent care (illegal immigrant care). We need to take care of the other part and stop using health insurance as a 3rd party payor. Having health insurance pay for doctor check ups, routine visits, and tell us we have a cold is like having your auto insurance pay for oil changes, tires and minor repairs on your car.
Personally, I don't care that doctors make ridiculous money. They should. People complain that doctors make too much money. BULLCRAP. Try being a doctor. What an ache means to one person is a sharp pain to another and a pull to another. Try deciphering all of that information and apply to the similar symptoms that many illnesses and diseases have and try to make the correct diagnosis. for my money, if something is seriously wrong with me, I want the guy that gets it right and if that means he is the highest be it.......that sure as hell beats the alternative...

Tell you all what: I'm in for public health care the minute that the government takes away the other "entitlement" programs that are cultivating a worthless, dependent, and lazy society. I said it once, here it comes: America, get off of your lazy fannies. Put on your big boy and big girl pants, suck it up and get to work. Be a part of the solution to our problems and not the problem. Work like hell to stop utilizing government entitlements and become self sufficient. This is absolutely the only way our country is going to work. Tell your congressmen to stop voting in entitlements and stop wasting tax payer money.....only 53% of us are actually paying any income taxes as it is.

Hawk   October 15th, 2009 2:09 am ET

I served in the military for 8 years. I worked until 2003, when I became disabled. I now have Medicare and Medicaid and get just under $900 per month to live on. My wife works but her job only brings in about $500 per month after taxes. She looks for more work, but the job market is slow. So that's a total of about $1,400 per month. Much of that is taken in utilities, a used car payment (paid off in about 6 more months), a student loan and rent. There is very little, if any, left over for food and other immediate necessities, much less insurance premiums.

My wife's job has no health benefits and she does not qualify for Medicaid (not every poor person does). Neither of us smoke, drink (beyond a glass or two of mild alcohol a week for her), do drugs, or partake in any extreme sports. Yes, we are overweight, but we have been working on that as best as we can. One month ago, my wife slipped and cut her foot open, near the toe – almost to the bone. It didn't hurt that badly and wasn't bleeding much, but it obviously needed stitches. Now, if she had insurance, we could have called a doctor and made an emergency appointment (or just gone into the office and asked to be squeezed in if possible) – or even just seen a nurse – gotten some stitches – probably gotten a $10 co-pay and cost the insurance about $100 and all would have been good. Instead, we had to go to the ER. There we were seen promptly – the doctor looked at the cut and said that she needed 3 stitches. It took him all of 5 minutes to perform the procedure. We were in and out of the ER in about 30 minutes after all the paperwork was done. The bill for this? $867.00! We cannot afford to pay this. We are filling out the charity forms and working with the hospital – most likely the hospital will end up eating the cost – and passing that cost on to the taxpayers and those WITH insurance. Did we *want* to cost people almost $900?? No! If we had our choice, we would have gone to a physician's office and waited to be seen. She was in little pain, but the wound was deep and it did need treatment. So, without insurance, the ER is her primary physician when she has to use them. At costs 10 times what they should be – and those costs will be paid by the rest of you because we simply can not pay them. Doesn't it make sense to give people like my wife a way to get seen and save people money in the process?

Oh – and for those that espouse the benefits of evolution and eugenics, and wish to "clean out" the gene pool – who gets to decide just what constitutes poor genetics? Redheads have been shown to feel pain more – so should redheads be weeded out? What about perfectly healthy, active people with a history of heart disease, cancer or other serious illnesses? By your logic, shouldn't we deny them treatment – even if they have the money to pay – simply because it contaminates the genetic stock? What about men with a low sperm count? Or women with a history of miscarriages? I could go on and on with this line of questioning, but the simple fact of the matter is this: the moment that we start placing "survival of the fittest" as the true mantra for the running of health care is the same moment that we should abolish the practice of medicine. For, survival of the fittest can not truly work as long as people are unwilling to allow themselves to be subject to the whims of chance. So, before you argue to me about genetic purity and survival of the fittest – you had better have canceled your insurance, signed a Do Not Resuscitate Order, advocated and signed a petition for the abolishment of the medical profession and pulled the plug on your granny!

Lee   October 15th, 2009 2:19 am ET

I want people to have health care, but I don't want to pay for someone else's healthcare, especially for those who make poor health choices despite plenty of good medical advice. The irony is I AM paying for others' healthcare in higher premiums.

Also, I've seen socialized medicine in Canada. While the doctors I saw seemed very qualified, the facility I visited in Toronto was downright scary.


J.U. ....hardly be the place to seek justice.

Holly   October 15th, 2009 2:23 am ET

To the surgical resident who says that those who are not insured have money for 3 packs of cigarettes a day. NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE UNINSURED SMOKE OR DRINK. HONESTLY, if you are a doctor who does not care enough about people to see them insured you do not need to be a doctor. Or are you worried you aren't going to make the big bucks if government steps in? IF YOU WENT INTO MEDICINE FOR THE MONEY, YOU SHOULD NOT BE THERE.

David   October 15th, 2009 2:26 am ET

Republican Healthcare plan: Die Quickly!

Miles   October 15th, 2009 2:28 am ET

I understand the outrage over the issue I really do. But to say that the GOP is stalling because they have some hidden agenda is a bit outside the confines of sanity.

As far as how the GOP would act if 45,000 Americans died from terrorist attacks every year; that is an incredibly ridiculous analogy.

The fight for healthcare will obviously be difficult and there are many solutions. I just don't see the average person, who is insured, being willing to pony up the money out of, what they consider, their pocket to bridge the gap.

Darlene   October 15th, 2009 2:41 am ET

I'm Canadian, by choice, American born. been here for 40 years. My husband and I had two sons here in Canada. It was great to have our Ontario Health Insurance to enable our sons to grow up well, have their vaccinations and check ups and be taken care of for the odd infections. No waiting for doctors, go in , see him, go out. No bills.
My younger son was bitten by a bee when he was 5. He almost died but was treated in the emergency room and spent 3 days in an oxygen tent at the hospital. No bills He had allergy tests later and found he was allergic. so he had allergy shots. no bills.
My husband and I were pretty healthy through those years. It was in 1998 when my almost 25 year old son had seizures at work. 3 days later he was getting brain surgery He was diagnosed with Glioblastma Multiforme brain tumor- same as Ted Kennedy had. Two months later his dad gets diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
I then get diagnosed with Fybromyalgia. My son goes through all the treatments, spends 4 weeks in intensive care after his third brain operation and then Palliative care. My husband goes through surgery, all his rad and chemo and stem cell harvest and transplant and the finally 3 months in palliative care in the hospital. Cost – NOTHING.

I am not a bankrupt widow
My relatives in NJ don't like Obama, They say they don't want to pay for anyone else's health care. My niece works for Lockheed Martin and she told me her coworkers hate Obama. She also said she doesn't want to pay for anyone else's health care and she said that doesn't sound emphatic but that is how she feels. She also said her friends who work in the pharma industry like taking doctors out for dinner and like their pharma high salaries.

I feel so sorry for America. Half of you are so sane, the other half are so selfish and greedy and uncaring. I am so thankful to live in Canada. I lived in Toronto and now live in rural northern Canada. I can say in both places if I was sick I saw the doctor the same day, waiting about an hour. I get sick of the republicans' lies about waiting times. You wait here for knee surgery , any elective surgery but when you are really sick you are treated right away. All Canadians accept this. We all think America is crazy to not have a health care system like us. America is number one in making war, bombs and prisons.
Is that something to be proud of? You can afford war but not treat your citizens to basic health care. As I have been saying the last 40 year, s in America it is survival of the richest. Profit over humanity. God help you all.

Leo   October 15th, 2009 2:42 am ET

First of all. I am angry at how all the people who think that its just irresponsibility as why many Americans can't afford health insurance. I speak from personal experience as one of those who cant afford it. I have had type 1 Diabetes since the early 1970s. Because of this i was denied insurance because of "pre-existing" conditions. I have been on disability for a number of years waiting for a kidney-pancreas transplant, because if I had been allowed to get insurance when I was able to work and pay for it I would not have had so many complications.You would not believe the meager amount that medicare will pay for even in the most extreme cases. They expect you to pay the rest even though many don't even have enough for their rent and food.
What many of the rest of you who are so worried about paying more in taxes don't realize is, if we had a better, perhaps even a national insurance coverage plan available for everyone, then people who can't afford the premium insurance companies could have some good coverage to assist them with preventive medical care. This would help lower the deficit and possibly taxes in the long run by helping them help keep themselves healthy and in turn working and productive instead of on social security/ disability. We don't people to pay for us we just want people to quit finding ways to keep us from helping ourselves.

Brandy   October 15th, 2009 2:46 am ET

Thank you to Dr. Oz for sharing the suffering of many who are just ordinary hard working Americans. Not everyone who does not Health insurance are lazy, unemployed or individuals who don't take care of themselves. In my experience in the Health care field many are hard working people who don't get offered any kind of insurance through their employer or they have a preexisting condition that prevents them from getting covered by an individual plan. Or the cost is so high it is not affordable. Many are people with insurance who can't afford the out of pocket costs that come with individual plans.

It surprised me that so many are not willing to help out others. When in the end we end up paying for it anyway. I feel politicians have put the fear in many and they have pitted us against each other. Good vs. Evil, worthy vs. non-worthy. Who decides that anyway? Yes reform is hard and it's not a easy fix, but discussion on what can be done is essential.

george   October 15th, 2009 2:47 am ET

.. i agree with joe, i agree with jeff.

We need TORT REFORM. Insurance co. love BIG payouts.
It frightens the populace into the whole insurance scam.

Coporate america is destroying america.
Everything is made in china, and it's JUNK !

America is dying.

Competition lowers the price of everything, very TRUE!!

Lawmakers don't do their homework.
Spend there terms then get a pension till their dead.

It's a sick, twisted, convoluted MESS
Many companies are foreign owned.
Medias are FOREIGN owned
The media manipulates and sensationalizes
EVERYTHING to distract the populace.

People grow up, work hard, are taxed into almost nothing then DIE.
The dollar is becomming the pennies of our youth.

Corporate titans abscond with the wealth, fly around in their private jets. no elected official know where it went or what to do. Government agents vote themselves in hugh pensions then retire at , before 55.

Are militarys interviene in world events, then are troops are ignored when they return maimed and abused. Military strategy,..often displayed with no realistic gameplan?

we are BOMBARDED with "NEWS".

Then the congress prints more money, stocks rise, and the cycle of inflation comes around full circle.

Few have any real money after taxes,..and we are SLAVES to credit.
ESpecially if trying to raise a family.

Then their is the sick and twisted entertainment industry that charges kids $11.00 to see a movie that depics immoral, rude, story lines in the GUISE of "entertainent"

AMERICA is dying

it's overwhelming

ThinkAboutOthers   October 15th, 2009 2:51 am ET

One of my favorite quotes in life is,
" The only way to make sure your secure is to make sure everyone else is secure ".

Caring about other people's well-being may seem difficult at times, especially with America's entitlement mentality. But what people often don't see is that when it comes down to it- people are people. Who am I to judge whether or not someone else worked to "deserve" good health? Even if you are not among the un or underinsured, I would hope we have enough compassion to understand that what we are talking about here is LIFE. Not money, not laziness, not greed. Human life. I can say that if you don't care about the LIFE of your brothers and sisters, it is not far fetched to assume no one cares about your LIFE. I hope that you never fall ill or need to rely on anyone else for anything.

The Constitution discusses our right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not LIFE to those who everyone feels deserves it.

Annie Dooley   October 15th, 2009 2:57 am ET

It's Open Enrollment season and just got our new "choices" of group insurance. ALL PLAN PREMIUMS UP 10% across the board. Deductibles up $100 per person, co-pays up $5-10. What can I do? If I downgrade to the high-deductible plan, it only saves me $80 a month in premiums. The out-of-pocket for our maintenance drugs alone would be much more than $80 so THAT plan would be no savings at all. Why aren't high-deductible plans a LOT cheaper than the low-deductible plans? There seems to be no way to save money in the private insurance market. It's stacked against you, one way or another.

Darlene   October 15th, 2009 3:06 am ET

I already entered a comment but I would like to say that I am very grateful to the Canadian doctors. When I first came to Canada and had my first son I developed some urinary infections. While I was treated for that the doctors found out that I couldn't hear on my right ear due to having meningitis when I was a child. I believed I had all my hearing in my left ear. They suggested I get a hearing test and that is when I found out I only had 50 percent of my hearing. I was able to get a hearing aid with government assistance. I paid part and the government paid part. What a difference it has made in my life. Why couldn't the USA doctors helped me? Well, I guess my parents couldn't afford to take me to a hearing specialist. There was no health insurance at all when I was young. No dental benefits... that is why I have only half my teeth.

Canadians pay higher taxes. I pay nothing for my health care since I am retired, except through my federal/provincial taxes which amounts to about 20 percent of my gross income. But remember that is for all govt services, not just health care.

There is an old saying up here. You can tell the difference from a senior Canadian and a senior American.. The Canadian is a lot happier She/he is not worrying about medical bills.

Type I in TN   October 15th, 2009 3:07 am ET

I just recently lost my job after 12 years. I pursued the American dream, worked for less money in an industry where the very top people get paid very well and the bottom people trying to get to the top get paid very little. I risked it because I am very good at what I do, but there are only 30 jobs at the top in the country and as close as I got, I never quite got there. I have Type I Diabetes which is hereditary. noyt age onset. I watch my diet, exercise and take my prescriptions regularly and test my blood sugars as prescribed. Now, with out a job I will be without healthcare and unable to afford the two types of insulin I use, the test strips, the lancets, the syringes and the blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine to stay healthy as that will now cost me close to $500 a month and that does not even include the quarterly doctors visits I have to make. Do one of you "I want to take a vacation" citizens tell me where where i went wrong? I paid my taxes, lived a good life, help fix my moms house and now I am screwed. This is a moral choice, not a political one. We dare not call ourselves the greatest country on earth if we can't even take care of our own people. In developed nations we rank near the bottom in life expectancy, infant mortality rate, disease recovery, and disease prevention. We have likely the best medical care available, but only if you can afford it. We are the only developed nation who's health care is based on profit. Who's healthcare industry success model is based on how many claims they can deny. To call yourself a good person and argue to deny equal health care access makes you a liar and a hypocrite and I hope you can enjoy your vacation.

man   October 15th, 2009 3:37 am ET

wake up guys,
greed is a moving force here: who says that a hospital stay should cost 2500/night? why a monthly dose of a medication can cost $1000. Have you tried a ride on emergency bus for $3000 /block? Who defines these prices? Free market? Really? There are no free market in the health care industry- everything is regulated But everything is regulated in favor of the industry. .(Ask your doctor to by your medications in Canada – at 1/10 of the price. He cannot – it is against regulations ( although they are made in the same place). You need to pay for patents and pay more here than there just because you can and you will because you have no choice. THERE A NO FREE MARKET IN THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY – CAPITALISM IS DEAD. Before you go and buy a TV or a computer you shop around for a better price, have you tried to do the same before you go to a doctor?Good luck. Why the industry is so regulated that it is not possible to determine how much you are paying and what are you paying for before you sign up for the services?(I am not talking for an emergency services -it is a different story: also soo abusive) And why somebody has to make money in healthcare?In all civilized countries it is at least not for profit. It does not have to be a universal health care, but it does need to be open for competition and completely transparent for everybody.

Bill in Houston   October 15th, 2009 3:46 am ET

Health Care Reform and Health Care INSURANCE Reform are 2 separate issues. One involves the cost of treatment itself and the other the cost of premiums for the actual coverage.

I have not had ANY medical or dental insurance in over 16 years. Why? Because I could not afford it even on an above average annual income. A monthly premium of hundreds of dollars plus a large annual deductible caused me to just continue my healthy lifestyle and let the insurance companies be damned.

If our health care industry would adjust the cost of treatment to a more realistic dollar amount, then more of us would be able to afford the actual INSURANCE to cover said treatment. It is ridiculous to be charged almost $500 for an ambulance ride to the Emergency Room for food poisoning when that ride took 15 minutes max and involved the dispensing of no care. Then lay in the floor of the Emergency Room for 13 hours before being seen and one still wonders what is wrong with that picture. Charging $300 for an aspirin or two is beyond comprehension. The cost of treatment is where the REFORM needs to start. Once the insurance companies see that, there is a strong possibility that the premiums for health insurance will fall. If they don’t, the American people need to plan for a 2nd Revolution because I will be leading the march against the greedy mofo insurance companies.

And…a government option is not an option. Keep the US Government out of health care (too late…re: Medicare and Medicaid). That’s about as close as I want to come to socialized medicine in this country. Oh…you want to mandate coverage for those of us who are uninsured? And you will fine us if we don’t purchase coverage? MAKE HEALTH CARE INSURANCE AFFORDABLE AND I WILL PARTICIPATE. TO DO THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE HEALTH CARE AFFORDABLE. Otherwise, I will not pay for something that doesn’t deliver value according to my needs, not my country’s needs. And you can fine me all you want because the only way you will force me to pay is by prying my money from my COLD, DEAD HANDS!!

man   October 15th, 2009 3:55 am ET

to redplanet:
Your way of dealing with med problems is not supported by mainstream medicine – they cannot make the money treating you. As long as the medicine is the business – you are unprofitable -sorry.

Rob   October 15th, 2009 7:10 am ET

Health care is a moral right for children who do not have the resources or abilities to provide for themselves. Health care is not a right for adults who have the ability to provide for themselves and choose not to prioritize their finances in order to do so. Anyone who thinks health care is a right that people should receive for free should put themselves through medical school and the 3-10 years of training after medical school and then go and provide free health care to those who do not wish to pay for it. Anyone who thinks health care is a right an is unwilling to do that needs to sit down and be quiet. We do not have the resources to fund health care for all citizens without imposing a crushing taxes on all citizens. Too many Americans are content to consume government resources, but are unwilling to pay for them. 47% of Americans pay no income taxes at all, but consume the vast majority of government entitlements. It is time to provide for yourselves and stop begging Daddy Obama for your allowance.

Bushra   October 15th, 2009 7:40 am ET

thank you so much larry king to have Dr.Oz in your show

I like it the topic soo much

Dr.Oz you're great man really

I agree to make free health care clinic

actually we have afree health care N saudi arabia but they
present abad service in clinics and hospitals

thanks again larry king I love your show soooooo much

Jadeyes   October 15th, 2009 11:54 am ET

I was watching last night when they had the little 4 yr old on that had no insurance, her Mom had 5 children. I am very curious to know why these kids were not on Chips..which is very cheap, Government sponsered..And there is also Medicaid, Government sponsered..So why Dr Oz are you touting about so many kids with no insurance? Unless of course these people are illegals, then I have to say we can't afford to pay for all these people..The Government is out of money..Do they know the term OUT? Apparently not. I feel for these people too but we can not save the whole world...

kim   October 15th, 2009 1:20 pm ET health care for people does not mean Drs dont get paid. Drs in Canada bill the government directly. So your aregument is just wrong. Doctors in Canada are loaded... not driving clunkers and living in back allies because they give care away for nothing. My dr drives a new bmw and lives in a million dollar home...somehow I dont think he's hurting much. geesh !

Jeremy   October 15th, 2009 1:34 pm ET

If it was your child that needed surgey and couldnt get it done because you dont have health insuarnce you would see it diffrently.Just because people dont have healthcare dosent mean they arent good hard working people.somtimes people just cant afford it. How can you sleep at night knowing that a child somewhere is going to die becuase there parents or parent cannot afford health care and they cant get any help from any of the other gov programs. try putting yourself in there shoes. Ohh thats right you cant because from what im reading some of you dont seem to know what its like to struggle and until you do you wont understand

Irene, TX   October 15th, 2009 1:36 pm ET

Forget about health care for a second, think business administration. For-profit means business. How would anyone want to keep h/h business alive and prosperous? More and more customers coming through the door is the only way to go, regulars are most welcome. Why in the world would a for-profit health care be any different? Why is it so hard to understand? Healthy population is NOT profitable. Otherwise, most of our canned and packaged foods would have been banned by FDA.
How can 1 drug cost 7000/month? How can 1 person, even severely burnt, deplete 6 million worth of hospital resources in 2 months? This is extortion, and our health care is but a criminal conspiracy. Why no one attempts to audit these bills?
Indeed, GOP, stop lying about Europe, Canada etc. Yes, you may need to wait for something minor and non-life threatening. Or you can pay and get it tomorrow if you can, fine, that's capitalism, My friend's husband's cancer came out of recession and a doctor in London... set him up for tests in... 6 months. He was an idiot who didn't recognize the problem. Later the same day they went to a supervisor and... within 6 days he got all the tests for free and received 2 chemo courses for free. He is doing well, thank God!
I can see some differences between waiting for 3-6 months to get cured while experiencing some inconvenience, and waiting to die or lose your house and your kids' future and still die.. Do you?

Jules   October 15th, 2009 1:59 pm ET

@Anne D

Yes, there are unmotivated people who do not want to pursue educational opportunities... however we are to be given ACCESS to good education. Whether or not the individual chooses to engage opportunities is up to that person. We are not guaranteed happiness, rather the PURSUIT of happiness. At the moment our education is trailing behind other first world nations and our health care system is the most expensive and can financial ruin good people... the nation is not living up to it's end of the bargain as framed by our founding fathers.

ckelly   October 15th, 2009 4:24 pm ET

Dr. Oz did a very good thing in Houston!! The "event" demonstrates a real American problem..

The current health care system and the suggestions made by the GOP will not work...Insurance companies (like oil producing companies) work together to drive out real competition in order to keep costs HIGH. Without a public option, there will be NO competition.

Further-a universal healthcare program with options to pay for additional services independently (with or with out insurance) is the way to go. As a Canadian we have excellent healthcare and I would NEVER change it for the current American model...When I go to the doctor or the hospital-I just walk in or make my appointment and I PAY NOTHING!! My employer doesn't pay for health care either!! (extended benefits is a privilige of my employment)-Taking this financial pressure off of business promotes economic growth.

Why is the Canadian economy in better shape the the US currently? Moderation, reasonable taxes; regulatory legislation keeping Banks and Finance companies in check; Putting Canadians health, education and social well being a head of the interests of special groups and partisan politics.

Ron   October 15th, 2009 6:07 pm ET

We just received our Annual enrollment notice for our insurance. The company I work for is a Fortune 500 companies and we are going to be given a 15% increase in our insurance cost that's just our increase. We are one of the few companies that got raises this year, but the increase in our raise was only at the most 4.01% some got even lower or no raise at all. Now is this right? No. What can we do about it? Nothing. We need to have the government step in and tell these companies employers and insurance companies No. There is way too many companies out there. They don't want competition so they can keep all the profits themselves. A companies foundation are their employees and we should be treated with some kind of respect. Not well insurance increased look forward to paying more. Granted they did take some of the burden off us to still. I'm sure our CEO gets a very good package deal and doesn't worry about the increases. I shouldn't complain I did get a raise, but still it needs to stop and I can't see how anyone Republican, Democratic, Independent, Rich or Poor can see that this is right. This is horrible.

truth4mj   October 15th, 2009 8:51 pm ET

Michael Jackson’s case has been ruled a homicide for a reason. There is a massive cover-up going on regarding his murder. Please learn the truth at this-is-not-it dot com and get involved.

Joanne Wozniacki   October 17th, 2009 3:53 pm ET

I notice that everyone who is against health insurance reform already HAS health insurance and/or CAN AFFORD health insurance. It's a shame there is so much selfishness in this country. They're satisfied with what they have so the hell with the millions who don't have any, including the millions of baby boomers who lost their jobs due to the economy in the last two years and can't afford a private health care plan, people who worked all their lives and never were on public assistance of any kind. The selfishness and lack of concern for their fellow Americans is A NATIONAL DISGRACE.

Nunya   October 17th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

To those who would call my anti-government option stance un-Christian. I will only say that Jesus worked under the authority of God, not the government.

We should take care of each other (ourselves, our family, our neighbors, strangers, etc.) of our own free will if we so choose (& my family & I donate time & money to charities often), but if the government steps in we won't be able to....more importantly, how is the government going to pay for an option with the largest deficit ever?!?! They can't get it up & running to even make it self sufficient.

What we need to do is make health insurance what it should be INSURANCE – for catastrophic illness & emergencies ONLY....much like life insurance only is paid if you die, & car insurance is only paid if there is an accident (not for ROUTINE Maintenance). Cut stuff out of plans that are routine (viagra prescriptions – total waste, fertility treatments – sorry, but if you can't afford to pay for it then you may not be able to afford the kids, LIBERALS LOVE TO SAY KIDS ARE A CHOICE anyway.)....

Just some food for thought....

Cheri & Jim   October 18th, 2009 5:10 pm ET

St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon deserves some well-earned credit for helping the uninsured – they totally canceled our $140,000 bill after saving my hubby not once, but 3 times in related GI illness over the past 5 months. They only asked that if our financial situation changed to please consider donating to the St. Charles Foundation. Boy, we sure will, and would love it if they got a sudden influx of donations from others! What an awesome place!.

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