Distrust of public option
JUDY WOODRUFF: In New Hampshire last week, a vocal band of supporters and protesters met the president. Susan Branyen is an insurance agent.
SUSAN BRANYEN: I don't want national health insurance. I've read the bill. I've downloaded it and read it. And people would be shocked what they would read in it. I'm also worried about all the insurance companies going out of business because of this, and they will.
JOURNALIST: What would that do if that happened?
SUSAN BRANYEN: I think many of my clients will go to the government plan. And then Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, Harvard, they won't survive with just the fewer numbers of people. You need sufficient numbers of people to make it work.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Andi Johnson was on the other side of the street and the debate.
ANDI JOHNSON: People over on the other side are obviously confused by the signs. Elderly against Obama care and socialism is one of them. Nurses against health care is another. I mean, what do they think is going to happen? How many of those people are on Medicare or Medicaid and already have socialized health care?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Tom Petri is a Republican congressman from Wisconsin. He encountered some outright hostility to reform at a recent town hall meeting.
PROTESTOR: The majority of Americans do not favor socialized medicine.
PROTESTOR: So you're going drive a Cadillac health care plan, and you're going to put us in a clunker.
REP. TOM PETRI, R-Wis.: No, I'm not.
When you're talking about a bill that involves purchasing health services and what's mandated and what's required, the fear is that you will start having health care rationing. And in other countries -- it's certainly widely talked about, anyway -- that if you're over a certain age, you may not get or you may have to wait for certain types of services that you don't in the United States, whether it's a hip transplant or kidney dialysis or other things.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Billy Hummel was in Panora, Iowa, to hear Senator Charles Grassley speak to his constituents' concerns. Grassley is one of the Republican negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee working to shape a health care bill.
BILL HUMMEL: Health care, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that the same rumblings that have been going on for years will continue to rumble a little bit longer. I'm glad they're coming to a head. I'm glad there's some discussion going on.
But I hope that the discussion leads to a stalemate right now, because right now is not the time to go in more debt, and that's the only way to pay for this. And there is no dollar amount, concrete, that anyone can put to it. And until that happens, we've got to just say no for a second.
The same as anyone's personal budget, if you don't know what's on the horizon, especially if you don't have a cushion of cash to absorb those oopses, you've got no business sticking your neck out, because you're going to get it chopped off.