How satisfied are you with the Senate health care reform bill?

After months of debate and deliberation, the Senate is poised to pass its version of health care reform. It would require most Americans to carry health insurance, and would offer subsidies for those who can’t afford it. How satisfied are you with the Senate health care reform bill?

Comments texted to MPR:

I’m happy to get any reasonable bill. As time goes on it will get improved. It would be better if all insurance companies and hospitals were nonprofit with strong regulation or a public option or both. -Al Nephew, Duluth, MN

I like the increased options but what controls cost? -Jeff, St. Joseph, MN

I support the health care reform. It’s a start in the right direction. -Vern Simula, Duluth, MN

I’m extremely embarrassed by our political process. -Chad, Duluth, MN

Share your reply in the comments: How satisfied are you with the Senate health care reform bill?

  • Celia

    not at all….. I thought that we elected a Democratic majority to push a progressive agenda through Washington. Without a Public Option any bill will just be hollow.

  • D Mox

    I agree. Public Option should’ve been the foundation, not the first thing they cut. I’m happy that millions more will have access, but this is America, we beat back measles, polio & countless other disease…we beat fascism, communism & have founded democracy & inspired democracy around the world…and we can’t come together to insure EVERY last one of our own? Sad. Kind of pathetic actually. At least before Reform we could hide behind the excuse that we just hadn’t tried, now our Congress & Senate are exposed for the cowardly, greedy, jerks that they are!

  • melanie dunn

    I’m appalled and again dissappointed at our greed and relutence of our elected officicals to come together and pass a bill that truely cares for all Americans. Typical and truely sad.

  • Ellen

    Please no health care reform. Not a good thing to spend so much money when our country is broke! It is a shame that they our using Medicare money when Medicare is on the verge of going broke.

  • It’s all a big joke, or at least it would be if the subject matter was the least bit funny. Unfortunately it’s the ridiculous, not the comedic, that makes it a joke. Health care, ha, call it what it really is, WEALTH CARE

  • AnnMarie

    Most of the comments I am seeing are all negative, but like the Republican congress members, not a single one offers alternative suggestions! NOT A SINGLE ONE. We are ALREADY paying for this Health Care – for those without….who do they think is paying for this? WE ARE!!!! We need to do somthing and this is something, and will actually reduce costs over a period of several years if only you would READ the items and give it a chance!!!!!

  • Jim

    This bill isn’t reform, it an entitlement. I agree that more people get covered but this does nothing to improve the cost or quality of care for all Americans.

    The only winners I see are the insurance companies that now have the government making sure everyone has to buy insurance from them.

    I still haven’t heard one good reason that we couldn’t have spent more time to get this right instead of just pushing something through to make it look like we got something done.

  • Brian

    I don’t honestly know the full content of the bill – I doubt any of us does. But from what I’ve heard, it sounds like a trivial cosmetic adjustment. Yes, it’s good to extend coverage to more people. And the pre-existing condition exclusion is unethical at best, so I’m glad to see that going away. But I don’t see any substantive change to the way the overall system is run, and I haven’t heard any serious details about cost control. I don’t think this bill will make any difference for those of us who are already insured, but are at the mercy of insurers when it comes to receiving health care.

    My insurance coverage was transferred from Blue Cross to Health Partners, and the doctor I’ve been seeing for almost 2 years isn’t covered by the new plan. So do I pay for the service myself, or do I start over with a new provider? And what happens when I get a new job and have to deal with another company that has its own set of “preferred providers”?

  • James Montgomery

    I am not simply disappointed, I am profoundly angered.

    Virtually every feature that might have introduced profoundly positive and actual “reform” of our shameful healthcare system has been eliminated from this bill to the advantage of the very so-called “stakeholders” who have brought us to this crisis in the first place.

    Just because insurance companies are being forced to insure people with pre-existing conditions does not mean that they will choose to offer those policies at an affordable cost.

  • Allan Wilke, MD

    The bill isn’t everything I wanted. I wanted a public option, less restrictive abortion language, more money for primary care residencies. That being sent, the glass is more than half-full, and there will be other opportunities to improve the product. What we’re getting is better than the status quo and will save money in the long run.

  • Deb Staley

    As Sen Harkin said, this bill is like a ‘starter house’, it is a beginning point. True, it does not have all that I wanted, yet, it a start. People have been working on ‘reform/overhaul/repair’ for almost a century. So, let’s build from this bill.

    It does some good things, provides coverage to millions. It does some things not so good (such as reducing a women’s access to reproductive health care; does not have a public access).

    And we need to acknowledge that the GOP is currently the party of NO; the Democrats do not vote as a block as the GOP does.

  • Steven

    It’s a marginal improvement that will prevent real reform from happening for another couple of decades. It still leaves us with a health care system based on extracting profits from sick people (or from people who can be persuaded they’re sick). Until we replace the entire system with one based on public service for the common good, we’re just tinkering around the edges.

  • Tanya Hermann

    I was for it at first, but I think too many compromises have been made to get votes. This is supposed to be for Americans, not for insurance companies and votes! I want the same health care insurance that all members of Congress get while serving and for the rest of their lives. I hear that it’s really great insurance and it’s free to them! If it’s good enough for Congress it’s good enough for all Americans. Because whatever they finally decide on for our health care reform is what they should have to switch to permanently!

  • Ginny

    That we have some reform is good. That this reform doesn’t have strong provisions to curb excesses by the insurance industry is scary. President Obama is not to blame – except in that he didn’t twist arms sooner. The fault should lie with the Republicans who encouraged all sorts of negative “facts” to try to defeat the effort to help their constituents and those Democrats who have no courage to do the right thing but instead worry about being reelected – and then want bribes to vote passage. (Read Nelson here.)

    These “facts” have badly misinformed people and have insidiously wormed their way into many people’s minds. Just like rumors, they die hard and hurt the very ones the reform was meant to help.

    Will it be expensive? Sure, Mr. Lieberman, but to worry about the cost of reform seems crass when faced with life and death issues. The hypocritical piety the opposition espouses on this subject is laughable, considering the unfunded prescription drug plan, the unneeded Iraq war (the true cost of which is borne by young men and women who lay their lives on the line), and the unrealistic tax relief to the top tier granted by their incompetent administration.

  • Erik

    How people are sure that government will provide all serious treatment on their coverages. In the future how people know that govenment will not say we do not have money to cover some serious treatmnet.

  • Peter Truitt

    Although I am grateful and supportive, I think we would have had a simpler and better bill if we had efficacious economic justice. We got the cart ahead of the horse.

  • Randy McLaughlin

    I am disgusted and reconsidering my involvement in the Democratic Party.

    With this bill, discrimination against people based upon employment status and age is enhanced and institutionalized. I am especially incensed by the “blame the victim” mentality underlying it.

    It continues an inequitable system where those with a patron, in the form of an employer, are entitled to favorable tax treatment, better rates and less restriction on their reproductive freedom whereas the self-employed, unemployed and under-employed continue to be subjected to tax on income used to purchase insurance that is inferior, more restricted and more expensive.

    Joe the Plumber, get a job! Self-employed workers, according to this bill, are worthy of official contempt, discrimination and punitive treatment.

  • Amy

    I don’t really know what to think. I am all for reform! I would love to see a public option but I don’t think that this government is ready to take that on. If nothing else happens, I want to see changes so that no one can be denied coverage for pre-existing condiions and no one can have their coverage stopped if they become ill.

    What I don’t like is the reports of what amounts to bribery to get senators to agree to vote on the bill. I was disgusted!! More of the same crap happening as did in the Bush regime. I thought that with a democratic majority the under the table crap would stop. But obviously that is the way politics is played in this country.

  • Gerald Myking

    There is little doubt in my mind that Medicare/Medicaid drove up the cost of health care. When the government guaratees big business with paying customers do you really expect them to lower profits? Just ask yourself what sector has been the most profitable in the last 50 years? The taxes we pay for this Medicare/Medicaid by itself has exceeded the cost of health care prior to it going into effect. Unfortuantely we do not really have a choice, it is being shoved down our throats by arrogant legislators who know more than us ignorant little people.

  • Larry B

    I am appalled with the health care reform that is taking place. Most of the polls that I have seen, both conservative and now even liberal polls are saying that most Americans do not want this reform that is taking place. Family members and co-workers that I have talk to do not want this reform, so why is this being forced down the American public’s throat? No Pork – well what about the NE special consideration being added to the reform? I am hearing reports that the CBO was off in its original estimate and that it will be even higher in its final cost. What about the 23 million who still will not be covered? I heard this morning that this bill also has a provsion that it CANNOT be changed EVER. I have not been really politically active in the past other than making sure that I vote, I will become active now. I think 2010 elections will be something for those in Congress to think about.

  • Dan

    It is nothing but a big boondoggle for the health care industry orchestrated by a bunch of politicians they own. We all will pay and we all will get substandard care in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world. I have become so disgusted with the Republicans and Democrats I will never vote either of those parties again.

  • Steven Miller

    Very disappointed with Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. Both caved in to special interests. Instead of fighting for a real public option or single payer, they went to bat for the Minnesota health providers touting the “wonderful job we do in Minnesota”. Yet, thousands of Minnesotans can’t afford health care (e.g. GMAC). Next time, I’ll look at supporting Independents.

  • mary plooster

    Not at all. This is the worse way to end 2009 with the passage of a health bill that does not address the main issues in health care reform…. controlling cost.

    As a Registered Nurse it makes me sick to think of all the debt that the middle class will once again have to pay. This is just adding layers of red tape that will make care more expensive and less pay for those of us that do the care. And what is with free Medicare for life for the people of Nebraska? It is not fare to buy votes but if that is the way it is done how come our Senators didn’t get that for Minnesota?

  • Steve

    To call the bill an “overhaul” is ridiculous. While there are certainly positive aspects of the plan, it fall far short of what is required for true change. The old adage “Go big or go home” comes to mind. This plan makes me wish Congress would have just packed it in. While the plan will address some important issues, it does not go far enough to control the rising costs of health insurance.

  • James Montgomery

    As long as we, the American people, are willing to cynically accept the “fact” that goverment in the Untied States has simply degenerated to nothing more than a “get rich” system of organized “pay-backs” to members of the House and the Senate in both parties by entranched corporate interests operating freely under the quaint euphemism of “politial contributions,” we should not be at all suprised that our once capable nation is getting so rapdily reduced to a feudal society.

    There are not two political parties running this nation any more, only one.

  • Mary

    Watching legislation get made is a bit like watching sausage get made…not a pretty sight! It doesn’t look appetizing but hopefully the finished product will be palatable. I am disappointed that we can’t have single-payer like the rest of the developed world. I am disappointed they removed the public option which is the only true curb on the excesses of the health care industry. I am grateful that there is some reform which curbs the industry but as long as we have a profit-making model, rising costs will continue to be a problem.

  • B Johnsen

    I’m thrilled that changes in direction are being made. Instead of continuing to move toward fewer and fewer people being able to access normal health care, this moves us toward more people being able to receive it.

  • Lisa

    I am not happy with it in the least. I wish they would throw the whole thing away and start from scratch. Pushing it through with only the support of the Democrats is and will be destructive for future efforts.

    There are many who believe, and I can understand this perspective, that it is the best we can get for now. Yes, well that IS the problem. I don’t know who all these people are who don’t want it because they want to keep their own insurance. Um, and what do they propose to do about the millions who don’t have or can’t afford any insurance? And for those who are such rabidly anti-abortion, why can’t we come up with a compromise which is NOT what came out of this bill. Women really should be able to determine their own health issues and not have the government tell them what to do.

    I could go on ranting but I won’t. I just feel that that there should be a way to include at least some Republicans to work with us to provide a way to provide health care for everyone regardless of their preexisting condition instead of the absurdest language of “Everyone has to buy their own insurance.”

    Huh? That means what?

  • Dan

    I have trouble believing that most people have enough knowlege of the bill to have an informed opinion. It seems most people are parroting whatever their favorite pundit has to say. My honest opinion? I have no idea, but I trust the democrats more. At least they have some disagreement among themselves, versus the transparent tactics the republicans employ in the sole hope cynicism wins and Obama loses. That from the self declared patriots.

  • James Montgomery

    Who said that the making of legitimate and beneficial legislation in this country “must” constitute some god-forbibben dog-fight of so-called “ickky” “sausage-making?”

    I am tired of all the “excuses” being offered for what clearly constitutes a blatant abbrogation of the god-sworn responsibility of my representatives in Congress to represent my best interests as a so-called “constituent” — in this case, my life and death, literally — over those of profit-rich corporations!

    To all of those people who seem to think that this bill is the “best” that the Senate can do, I ask you in good conscience to ask yourself what “unacknowledged” acting force has most severely curtailed the possibility of anything significantly “better?”

    The rabid, so-called “partisan” game-playing by legislators on both sides stuffing their pockets full of corporate contributions with both fists — that ancient “good cop/bad cop” ploy?

    The notion that anyone in the United States could “accuse” any other world nation (big or small) of political corruption is the height of blind ignorance, hypocrisy and/or arrogance.

    This Senate bill will go down in history as marking one of the very lowest moral points in our nation’s corruption-riddled political process

  • Paul R Poulton

    Satisfied–not prefect but who or what is? Huge step forward.

    P-

  • James Montgomery

    What is this so-called “trouble,” Dan?

    There is no viable public option. Government negotiation of drug pices is banned, as are international drug purchases by citizens. State efforts to restrict insurance company practices are cut-off in the future. Thirty-one million Americans are now mandated to purchase private health insurance or pay fines. Nothing in terms of supposedly “real” benefits emerge for another five years.

    Insurance companies are “forced” to insure people with pre-existing conditions, but not forced to do so at affordable rates. Women are dealt yet another blow to their reproductive rights.

    What exactly don’t you think I understand about this bill, Dan?

    Some sort of “hidden magic” that remains like some rabbit in the hat to be produced at some “aha” moment in 10 or 20 years from now?

  • James

    Socialized health care will be a very large building block to government control of our semi-lives. For example you get in a automobile accident while not wearing a seat belt…. gov’t will argue that since your choice was to not wear a safety device “the people” will not cover you rehab.

    This bill is about control, political corruption (both sides) and money.

    All we need is to control the cost of health care not get government control.

    DTOM

  • James Montgomery

    And you think that “privatized” so-called health care has anything other than its profit in mind, James?

    Surely, at this point, it is clear to you that an unrestricted free-market “approach” to our health care has not served us well in this country, yes?

  • I am very happy that SOMETHING has been passed. The intent and purpose of the reform was taken on with good intentions. I would have preferred to see the original proposal adopted with little to no changes.

    I question the amount that had to be given away in negotiation and the pressure and influence of the various lobby groups. Insurance companies SHOULD have been able to figure out how this would help create additional product for them to sell, perhaps consider a non-profit offering.

    I am DISAPPOINTED in the democrats for not finding a way to work with the republicans. I am even more DISAPPOINTED with the republicans who proved to be IGNORANT of the situation that was trying to be elevated and just plan DISRUPTIVE and confrontational.

    We are ONE country and this is an important issue that spanned both parties. I would almost have preferred NOTHING to than witness the embarrassment of lobbying, lack of good faith debate and ultimately the heavy tax burden this will bring.

    Having said all that, I support this as a start.

  • James Montgomery

    And while I am thinking about it, Eric, even your way of phrasing this question harbors its own “little seed” of blithe “sugar-coating,” no?

    It is not at all clear to me specifically what sort of so-called “subsidies” the government is prepared to offer or even capable of offering — and/or for how long or at which income levels — to all of those people eventually deemed incapable of “affording” this now-mandated health insurance.

    My experience to date with such so-called “subsidies” (a la Medicaid or MNCare) is that you must be living in a cardboard box to qualify for any such assistance these days.

  • Not at all satisfied. Say what you like about Joe Lieberman (and I say a lot under my breath) but at least he stood up for what he believed in. The fact that NOT ONE liberal democrat was willing to stand up and refuse to support the bill because there was no public option disheartens me terribly.

  • James Montgomery

    Pee W, your basic point is a good one. But, no need to invoke the slimy spectre of Joe L. to do it.

    He did not stand up for anything at all. Barely a few months after he spoke unmistakably about supporting a “buy-in” to Medicare for Americans over 55 he “suddenly” finds it objectionable.

    Joe L. has sort of shone forth as precisely the sort of “bought” politician we should all be trying to eliminate — and god knows he has had so many dubious others above whom to rise so blatantly.

  • James J. Johnson

    The people of the United States elected a congress that was split down the middle as far as Democrats vs. Republicans. Now we’re complaining about how this results in scratching each other’s backs to accomplish one of the most important issues to come before our representatives. Wake up folks! This is our form of government. Senate rules are part of all this. What do you want? A dictator?

    As to the healthcare legislation, I’d rather have something rather than nothing. Don’t throw out the good while waiting for the perfect. Sure, we can do better but this is just the start. We’ll all be better off when this gets signed into law.

  • James Montgomery

    I am not angry about our politicians, as you so coyly put it James J., “scratching each others’ backs,” as I am about

    the blatant “pay-out” to the so-called “vested interests.”

    Are you honestly promoting, in your “wake-up” call to us here, that we all should just roll over and support such sham “reform” legislation?

    That we should be happy and encouraged at this, the best that can be accomplished with a so-called Democrat as our President, an overwehelming majority of Democrats in the House and a majority of Democrats in the Sneate?

  • Cheryl

    You cannot count the same money twice.

    The CBO just released a letter stating that there was “double-count” of savings because HI trust fund savings CANNOT BE USED BOTH TO PAY future Medicare benefits AND TO FINANCE new spending outside Medicare (the new entitlement program).

    The seniors have been had. Medicare is being raided to fund a new entitlement program.

    Did anyone see Amy Klobuchar brag about this corrupt process because it was so transparent? Where is her sense of ethics?

  • Jeff

    The bill that is about to pass is the best we can get given the number of health care obstructionists in the U.S. Senate. A public option is still needed, but that will have to wait until we get a few more progressive senators.

  • James Montgomery

    I was not waiting for the “perfect.”

    I was anticipating something resembling substantive and meaningful reform along the lines that even a child could understand easil;y enough. I was actually counting on the pledge made by Obama that “We Can.”

    What this has shown clearly enough to me is that “We Can’t.”

  • Cheryle

    YOU CANNOT COUNT THE SAME MONEY TWICE.

    See explanation below.

  • James Montgomery

    Jeff, in so many ways I believe that the Senate bill constitutes not the “best” but, rather, the very “worst” we can do in ways that will become increasingly obvious in the future.

    I truly do not comprehend the logic anyone tries using to “justify” this bill as representing a substantial or even significant effort at any actual reform. The idea that this is the “best we can get” seems not only horribly pathetic to me but somewhat outrageous at this point.

    The bill is, in my mind, a sort of death-knell for the Democratic party.

  • James Montgomery

    And if Obama and his retinue plan to arrive eventually at the last moment in all of this — like some presiding “Glenda, the Good Witch of the White House” with roly-poly Munchkins in tow — they are going to have a sort of Big “Come-to-Jesus-at-the-Last-Minute” think coming, complete with egg all over their sanctomonious, deal-driving faces!

  • Carrie

    Shame on the Republican party, Shame on the ultra liberal Democrats. Anybody remember the word compromise? The bill is not perfect, name a bill that ever was. There was a comment about spending money we don’t have. That’s what will happen if we don’t pass this bill. Get over the fear words, stop being afraid of change and man or woman-up. Its Christmas stop paying lip-service to bettering mankind and actually do it. Support the bill.

  • Tabitha

    James M we get it you don’t like Obama. Enough already.

  • ron

    It would seem to me that someone should get a varified list of everything in the bill as an accurate way for some intellectual dialog to take place on this subject. Everyone seems to comment on a lot of conjecture and here say. No where have I seen a public list of this bill that actually could be digested by use item by item. This would permit the country population in total the oppurtunity to actually provide fact based conclusions and begin pressuring the Congress with something the people truely want. It appears from everything I have read to date we continue to be held hostage by the people we put into Congress. It’s like one day (Their election day) you feel they are the candidate that will work for you and the next day they are tainted by political pecking orders, special interests, etc. and end up working on a overall agenda that has very little to do with what they were preaching during there election to office. It seems one thing we should all agree on is Term Limits on both the House and Senate and the elimination of Lobbiests and Special interest groups that itimidate common sense and our needs.

  • Gwen Myers

    Not completely satisfied – no one is. The most undemocratic house, the Senate, exacerbates the problem w/ the most undemocratic rule, the filibuster, which allows people like Joe Lieberman to undermine the Democratic effort to pass a reasonable bill. Add to this the fact that the Republicans are willing to do anything to make Obama look like a failure, no matter the cost to the country. These facts subvert the democratic process.

  • Clark

    Disaster in the making. It will cost more and deliver less then promised but the idiot far left democrats will be cashing in their government pensions by 2015. I would like to say it will impact my vote but I have never voted for a democrat in my life so all I can do is send my money to the Republicans and hope for a major landslide vistory for Republicans in 2010 so Obama becomes harmless. He’s already a bumbling clueless politician.

  • David

    I am delighted that the Senate is even able to pass a bill. Though it lacks many of the elements I was hoping for, I am pleased by the progress, and believe that it is something that we can build on in the future. Hurray for Obama and the Democratic Party.

  • Cheryl

    Healthcare stocks went way up today. That’s no surprise. The government is guaranteeing that the insurance companies can charge whatever they want to cover healthcare costs, and the government will pay. The biggest sweetheart deal is for the insurance companies.

  • James Montgomery

    Tabitha, the many points I have made here about what seems seriously, even egriegiously wrong with the Senate bill have very little to do with whether or not I like Obama.

    And I resent your little dismissive “waving me off” with “enough” as if it does. At this juncture, I am ready to swear off voting for another Democrat ever again. Or any Republican.

    Both camps are equally responsible for this horrific mess and I don’t care who had some “good intentions.”

  • James Montgomery

    Oh, and Clark, I wouldn’t bother sending any more money to the Republicans. They will soon enough end up owning

    everything that has not yet been bolted to concrete blocks in this country. 🙂

  • James Montgomery

    I don’t believe that any Progressive Democrats in the Senate wielded anything even close to the vituperative, inane and vengeful brickbats of the Republicans, who (as a bloc) simply chose a “let them eat cake” approach to the matter out of some “death-wish” desire when it comes to the waning middle class in the nation.

  • James Montgomery

    What our country desperately needs today is not a “third” party, but rather a second one — one that has the guts and good conscience to ressurect a truly representative form of democacy in the United States, one that actually “rescinds” the corrosive influence of Big Money in politics

    and demands that our legislative decision-making be “freed” from plutocratic control.

  • James Montgomery

    I am of the belief that we, the American people, have now reached some “end of the tether.”

    We can no longer keep pretending that the Emperor sports high-fashion clothes, any more than corporate America can continue hoping to bleed much more money from we, the debt-ravaged, fore-closed and unemployed.

    Yeats, the poet, once suggested that the “center does not hold.” And I suggest that there is no longer any “center” to politics in America today.

    There is no “there” there any longer.

    What we now seem to have is a small, overly-pampered and privilged “uber” class still pretending to represent the interests of an increasingly down-trodden mass of shell-shocked citizens.

  • Ross

    I am a clinical Social Worker in Minneapolis, working with the poorest, most ill and needy member of OUR community. We need everyone to have health care. We need a single payer system. Health care should be seen in the light of basic rights–like food, clothes, housing. We as a society are as well as, as free as our most ill and oppressed. We have the most expensive health care system, but my all measures we are far below most industrial–and some other–nations in health measures. Infant mortality. Mortality in general. survival rates for the ill. …..the list goes on. No one should be making a profit in the health care system. We here in MN are lucky to have non-profits, but this is only a start. Please people, OUR brothers, sister, children, mother, fathers…. need our help.

  • Neither the Senate, nor the House version of health care reform satisfy me, primarily because they fail despite all the noise to articulate a clear, widely accepted vision for a more affordable, equitable, and healthful future. It’s hard to be optimistic these bills will do anything to lift the most expensive system in the world above its current level of 37th best.

    The nation has missed a golden opportunity to redraw its health care system from the ground up using any one of several proven models already in place in advanced countries. Instead of leadership in the service of getting to “yes” on a subject of critical importance to America, we the people were treated to a spectacle of partisan, scorched-earth tactics predicated upon lies, misdirection and a lot of name calling, all pretty much aimed at preserving the profits and privileges of the status quo.

    Of course, we have only ourselves to blame for ceding the reins of our democracy to a permanent governing class, one that seems increasingly out of touch with the interests of the America people.

    The whole episode sickens me. What would the framers of the constitution say about our collective ability to rise above partisanship in pursuit of a more perfect union?

  • Steven

    There are three dozen industrialized countries that have measurably better and less costly health care systems than ours. Every single one of them has more government involvement than ours does (even under the bill that might pass this Congress). Either the government runs the system outright, or runs the payment system, or strictly regulates both insurers and providers. There is no example anywhere of the free market being the solution to the problem of providing adequate, affordable health care for all citizens. Why is it so hard for us to learn from the experience of other countries? There are lots of ways to do it right. Why do we have to be stuck with the one wrong way.

  • Steven

    I felt embarrassed for my country as I listened to the BBC report on the Senate’s action. As the reporter explained the health care bill to the world audience, it became clear just how kludgey our system is. The rest of the world must be amazed and puzzled at the foolishness of our politial system.

  • Cheryl

    In Plato’s Republic, it is discussed that the core value is FREEDOM, and the result is some people becoming wealthier than others. Eventually, people vote in a person whose core value is EQUALITY, and there is a move to redistribute wealth. Because people don’t like being forced to give up what they earn, there is resistance, and the resistance is overcome by a move from democracy to TYRANNY.

    I’m not making this up. Go look up the end of Book 8 and the beginning of Book 9 of Plato’s Republic.

    An entitlement program is not the same as charity.

    I feel bad for my children. Their country will no longer be the land of opportunity. Instead, it will be the land of political money-grabs.

    So sad.

  • Jo

    I had so been hoping for true reform, but sadly this reform has been nibbled away by the greed and corruption that exists within those with power. Looking back through history, social healthcare was idealized by government before, but they couldn’t push through their desired reforms either. And that was at a time when the nation income tax was a much higher percentage.

    I understand the appeal to take home more money from your paycheck, but cut taxes too much and we go further into debt. During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s the top bracket of taxable income hovered around 90%. Yet today that same top bracket balks at 35%. It makes me wonder just how much we could get done if that top bracket income earners had to pay 90% tax again.

    As much as I hope and fight for equal healthcare rights for all, my pragmatic side sees the same cycle we’re in now being perpetuated, just with a different facade. Something is going to break dramatically before anything real happens, I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the economic failure in this country, and I’m afraid that the heath system is the next area to financially collapse.