How did President Obama’s speech affect your view of health care reform?

In his address Wednesday evening before Congress and the country, President Obama sought to build support for his health care reform effort. How did his speech affect your view of health care reform?

  • Deb Staley

    I am charged. As far as I am concerned, President Obama, nailed it. One my of favorite lines…’We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it. I still believe we can act even when it’s hard. I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress. I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history’s test.’

    As one that supports President Obama’s plan, it is important to share and stay on the message and to call out all that lie and mislead.

  • Donna

    Wonderful, what a great president. I was on the fence before, but I’m totally on board now. I will be working to get health care reformed.

  • Steve

    I’m really disappointed. Yes, it was a great speech. However, the plan he laid out is still based on extracting profits from sick people. He began this process with a huge compromise by taking single-payer off the table. Now he’s making even more of a compromise by saying the public option is not necessary. And the right wing is still claiming to be offended by how partisan the speech was (a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black). I fear we’re going to end up with a set of changes in the system that make only a marginal improvement, with real, effective reform being delayed another couple of decades.

  • Suzanne

    I thought the President was eloquent and provided needed details, called out the disinformation that has scared people, and showed he was still willing to work towards some compromise. I think those elected officials who do not support a government or public options ought to get off their government medical insurance plan and try to find insurance as individuals – one that does not cover pre-existing conditions, does not travel with them, and requires copays. They need a taste of realities.

  • Sarah S

    The President’s speech was excellent – it took on the false rumors directly and represented a balanced approach filled with compromise. It was interesting to note that most Republicans did not stand and applaud when Obama talked about an honest approach without political spinning. This is too important of an issue for millions of citizens to get caught up in games – I think his speech will provide a more solid foundation for real reform to happen this year.

  • Noelle

    I thought it was an eloquent speech, but I still didn’t come away feeling hopeful about health care reform. While there are major issues surrounding private health insurers that must be dealt with, there are many other factors within the health care system that are driving up the cost of care. Fee-based services, for one. The relationship between pharmaceutical companies and providers, for another.

    While I appreciate Obama’s efforts to call out Republicans for using scare tactics and to quell all the bickering, I am very skeptical that we will reach much, if any, real reform by the time this plan reaches fruition. Between all the hostility between (liberal) Democrats and Republicans and the fact that so many citizens are so ill-informed about health care, all the hope I had when Obama was elected is fading fast.

  • Mike Coster

    Further convinced me that he is an intentional liar. (Though it was a breach of decorum to call him out during his speech.) He LIES is the face of all independent reports of the cost of any such program, won’t address the rationing that necessarily will result (or increase in frequency and formality over what we have now), and plays word games on coverage that will “indavertently” be provided to illegal aliens.

    Lies, just lies, to paraphase him. He’s a career community organizer and propagandist, and enough people have figured that out. This program is going nowhere significant.

  • Carol

    President Obama did an excellent job of laying out the needs for health care reform right now. I was appalled by the disrespect shown by some of our elected officials during Obama’s speech, however. It frightened me that this would happen during a formal speech and embarasses me that our nation cannot have a civil discussion about an important issue. What a horrible example to set for our children.

  • James

    I am a 61 year-old part-time travel nurse who has been without health insurance coverage for the last 14 years. The staffing agencies I work for do not provide health insurance coverage for part-time workers. I would have purchased health insurance coverage for myself but none of my preexisting conditions would have been covered. Curiously, the preexisting conditions (mitral valve prolapse with atrial fibrillation and hypothyroidism) are the reason I am not able to work full time and otherwise qualify for employer subsidized health insurance. What a Catch 22 for me and I am sure I am not the only one in such a health care dilemma. Thank God for President Obama’s insight into the problems of our present health care system and for his tenacity in fighting for change.

  • Fla-Spin

    Please take your ball and go home. America is in need of repair and I am afraid you have caused so much damage it cannot recover

  • ABC

    I breaks my heart that such important legislation that would help millions of people (including me) is being diluted by right-wing nutjobs (including you Mike Coster) who, by yelling and screaming about idiocies like death panels and communism, have made what should be the most important thing in health care reform, single-payer/public option whatever you wish to call it, nearly a dead issue. As usual, one can get news coverage simply by yelling the loudest even if what is said isn’t true or even close to true (Mike?) and that these voices are repeated over and over even after they are proven false. I’ll wager that not even %5 of those previously mentioned right-wing nutjobs could tell me what “communism” actually is, not to mention what is ACTUALLY in the PROPOSED bill. It’s a well known fact that the loudest are often the biggest idiots.

    Forgive me, but one more thing. I am truly amazed that anyone can call out health care system the “Best in the World” (Bachmann and others). What are we, 30th, among industrialized countries in infant mortality? Cuba is ahead of us! If I remember, and I do not have the stats right in front of me, the US is 1st only in quality of Research and … wait for it … Cost!

  • Michelle

    I am still hopeful that meaningful reform will result. I am so disappointed in our congress, however — I know young children who behave better. Our President deserves everyone’s attention and respect, especially when there is confusion and disagreement.

  • Clark

    He is a policitian so of course he is a lying liar. Anyone who believes everything he says is an idiot.

  • Dave Campbell

    I’m so tired of the Reds vs the Blues.

    We have to get off the dime and try something. If we wait for the perfect plan, we will all be dead and in the ground for a long time.

    Think about the children, not ourselves.

  • Claudia

    This thought has crossed my mind although I cannot claim the expertise to fully evaluate it. Would it work for insurance companies (and the public option if initiated) be mandated to provide certain levels of coverage that would be the same from one company to another. As an illustration, consider the supplemental insurance policies which those who are on Medicare purchase. Each company provides Plan A, B, C, etc. (including Plan F which the most popular. Prices for coverage with each company varies, but Plan F is Plan F no matter to which company a person subscribes. I am not sure why the prices of the premiums differ; I would assume it is because there are other benefits offiered by some. But the basis service is the same in each policy for the specific plan.

  • JC

    BHO’s speech made me angry.

    Angry that he thinks he knows better about my health than I or my doctor.

    Angry that he would use federal law to force people to buy things they don’t want nor need.

    Angry that he will expand the nanny state in ways so far beyond the power of the Constitution.

    We must never give up the fight against this corruption. Never. never. never.

  • bob

    It didn’t affect my view at all. My view is that we aren’t going to get meaningful health care reform, now or ever. It was interesting to hear on an NPR report earlier today that virtually every President since Teddy Roosevelt has sought health care reform, and not a single one of them has succeeded. I think that track record is doomed to continue.

  • Harris

    My view on health care reform has not changed.

    I believe that we need health care reform now. I have worked for a small business who has struggled to provide health insurance for its employees. Each year the business has faced increased premiums costs by as much as 50% and has been left with no option other than to switch to lesser plans that allows little for the employees.

    I am troubled by some members of congress who think that this is acceptable and spews falsehoods to frighten people. What could be more frightening than telling your employees that you can no longer provide them with health insurance?

    The republicans had eight years to do something about health care and they did nothing – now it is time to reform health care – with or without the help of the republicans.

    To those who say the President has lied regarding health care reform – prove it.

    Well done Mr. President.

  • Debra

    What an elegant oratory and clear message! He left out just one major concern. He could have reminded the people of this country that they can help reduce health care costs by living healthier!! Stop excessive eating, smoking, drinking, and other risky behaviors. Self inflicted obesity is a HUGE part of the “waste” in our current system. Individuals who choose unhealthy lifestyles should not be subsidized by those of us that opt to be healthy and manage to eat, smoke and drink in moderation.

  • Eiolg

    I am more hopeful that there will be reform. I am more hopeful, but only slightly, that some of the Reps will be bringing forth positive suggestions instead of just tearing down what has been proposed. They still haven’t brought forth the plan they bragged about 2 months ago.

    I am not hopeful that the waste that is inherent in the current insurance system will be contained. The confusion of the multitude of insurance policies results in each clinic having to hire scores of insurance clerks and each insurance company having to have hundred of employees to process claims. Simplification would mean more efficiencies.

    I wonder what the Pres will suggest for those rich companies who pay wages that are a pittance and who “offer” health insurance but make the employees pay for all of it to get it? My son worked as a manager in such a company and couldn’t afford the insurance.

  • Brian

    It is in the constituion to uphold the welfare of citizens. Health care is a human right. 1 of every 3 dollars spent on health care goes to profit. I personally don’t want to pay for CEO bonus and vacations. I SINGLE PAYER NOW! It is the only way to cover everyone and do it affordably. Other industrialized countries have figured this out, why can’t Americans accept it.

  • James

    I don’t trust Mr. Obama.

  • Fred Manwalking

    And not much to say about mental health care. If you have health insurance it is difficult to get any meaningful care that doesn’t involve being medicated.

    If you don’t have insurance you are s**t out of luck.

  • Paul

    The president doesn’t make much of an insurance salesman because he doesn’t reasure us that the trade offs are worth it. The way that the trades offs get glossed over makes me think this reform isn’t a real deal.

  • James

    I do not trust Mr. BH Obama.

  • Bruce

    My view of health care reform did not change appreciably. But hearing the Republican response and seeing some of the earlier comments on this MPR forum made me realize that some of those who oppose meaningful health care reform are much more closed minded that I thought possible.

  • Dr. Vincent Pellegrino

    When has the free market ever been fair to supplying the working poor with low cost health insurance or any insurance for the rural area? Not in my life time. Wake up folks. We need soem type of nonprofit or government plan.

  • M-C

    The problem that is not discussed is what worries me. The USDA’s healthy diet is killing us, and as it does it causes a huge unnecessary medical burden on the medical system.

    I have to agree with Debra (above). The President continues to deliver an “elegant oratory and clear message!” and that “he left out just one major concern. He could have reminded the people of this country that they can help reduce health care costs by living healthier!!”

    However, although I agree with her that smoking and excessive drinking are risky behaviors, I do not believe that obesity is “self inflicted.”

    This is simply not true. Obesity can’t be due to people choosing an unhealthy lifestyle when they’re all so busy following the USDA’s “healthy diet.” They’re actually eating less fat as they follow the USDA’s recommendations for a “healthy diet”. The problem has nothing to do with eating in moderation. It is not the quantity of the food ingested. It is the quality of the food we’re eating.

    The USDA recommendations for a healthy diet ie, eat low-fat and low-carbohydrate are scientifically unsubstantiated. There is no scientific evidence for this so-called “healthy diet”.

    A recent article in Men’s Health, has an article titled

    “What if Bad Fat is Actually Good for You? For decades, Americans have been told that saturated fat clogs arteries and causes heart disease. But there’s just one problem: No one’s ever proved it ”

    [http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=health&category=heart.disease&conitem=a03ddd2eaab85110VgnVCM10000013281eac____&page=1]

    No one’s ever proved that saturated fat clogs arteries and causes heart disease!

    And, there’s lot’s of evidence (not supplied to save room and there’s so much any way) showing that carbohydrates of any type (honey, refined or unrefined grains, corn, fruits with high fructose/sugar etc etc) are a huge problem and conversely, no evidence that eating huge amounts of carbohydrate (60% of our calorie!s) is good for us. There are no good carbohydrates so if anything should be “eaten in moderation,” it’s carbohydrates. It would be a complete turn around for the USDA to admit this.

    Only when the USDA finally acknowledges current science and admits their mistaken view on fat and carbs needs to be revised, will we see not only a turn around in the diabetes and obesity epidemics, but an improvement to complete turn around in the health of current diabetics and the obese.

  • Darin

    Unfortunately it reminded me complicated and difficult this situation is. There is no one correct definitive answer and it’s going to require a new level of cooperation from congress – this in it self poses concerns.

  • Darin

    Unfortunately it reminded me how complicated and difficult this situation is. There is no one correct definitive answer and it’s going to require a new level of cooperation from congress – this in it self poses concerns.

  • Mary

    My views on health care reform have really not changed. Reform is desperately needed. We need to have coverage for all and at a reasonable cost.

    I thought the President did a good job of laying out the reasons why reform is needed. I was however, disappointed at the response by some on the other side of the fence.

  • Jon M. Jacobs

    the problem with our system is the reason that it is a system that has commodified health. Hence it is failing and it can only fail. If you want a quality system it should be qualitative and quantitative. Get the obscene money out of the system.

  • Jim!!!

    Guess what? You will be paying the medical bills of illegal aliens and uninsured whether we have reform or not. People are not turned away at emergency rooms because they’re not carrying a green card. The bills for those who are unable to pay are passed on to those that are able to pay no matter how you look at it.

    I support President Obama’s plan and I will do anything I can to help it pass. I was inspired by his speech.

  • Sheku Sheriff

    I personally think people’s health in a country should not be protected for profit. Health care has inelastic demand, meaning that no matter how high the price, people will still pay for it as it is essential. Insurance companies have also discovered that people will pay any money for health care, so they just keep on jerking up their premiums, even in these lean times as they no we have no option but to either pay or set ourselves up for bankruptcy in the event of a major illness.

    Health is an important part of the welfare of any society, and as the main role of government in a free market economy is to maximize social welfare, it is only logical for government to step in whenever the welfare of a society is threatened. 40 million people without insurance is a major threat to social welfare and those shouting that this is not a socialist country should know that some of us pay thousands of dollars in taxes without complaining. the least the government can do for us is to eneble us get access to affordable healthcare. The present system is willing to only sell health insurance products to those who do not need it, the young and healthy people. Anybody with a risk or a history of health problems will find buying private health insurance a nightmare.

  • Lois Nokleby

    It is continually annoying that the people who do not want a reformation of the system don’t get their facts. Where are the critical thinking skills? Know your source, be objective, what research have you, personally, checked out? Believing the loudest and the rudest and the ones profiting from the current system is pure ignorance.

  • nora

    well what can i say my husband has been unemployed twice in the last 4 years and he even went back to school to learn a trade. i am one of those people after a major illness have never been able to find a job in ten years.

    telling me that someone like me who has a pre-extending condtion you get fined for no healthcare and you can’t afford cobra at 12 hundred a month is a joke.

    does anyone know what it costs in a high risk insurance pool try and couple of thousand a month .

    have anyone had to use thier pension money to cover healthcare cobra costs. and even government covering it comes with condtions your company has to apply for it.

    and if they don’t want to you are out of luck.

    i never see the real realities anywhere about this go ask a unemployed person and you will find out how it really is.

  • Darlene

    Health care reform also needs to start at the individual level. Each of us with insurance coverage needs to read everything, ask questions, understand what we’re paying for and how to use the coverage wisely. We can’t keep thinking just because we have an insurance card that every single thing will be covered. It’s not. And it never has been. Some people use the ER for primary care and then are shocked when the bill comes.

    For the long term, we all need to focus on healthier habits and what we can do to help ourselves drive down costs. Over time, a few less cheeseburgers and a little more walking may mean fewer trips to the doctor and less reliance on surgery or medications to help our bodies do what they’re meant to do on their own – heal us – not fight against us.

    Yes, some conditions just can’t be prevented. But a lot of them can. Our government exists to protect us and make rules that make sense and promote peace. It’s not the job of government to make us behave in a healthy manner.

    I support President Obama and am glad he’s willing to take the uncomfortable position he has. The function of our current system is unsustainable. People without coverage should have options too. I think the new reform should focus most on what’s truly broken and also include input from insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals and health care professionals. Everyone should start doing the right thing and make things better for the people.