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Obama Watch

Archive: Viewer Comments

Question: (2009-08-13)

+ Obama Watch Question Archive - Obama Watch Question Archive
Do you think Congress will pass Obama's health reform bill? Do you think Obama's health reform summit will lead to a bipartisan reform bill? Do you think the federal stimulus has significantly helped the economy over the past year? What was your reaction to Obama's State of the Union speech? Do you think Obama has been devoting enough attention to environmental issues? What should Obama's Afghanistan troop strategy be? Are you concerned the U.S. is becoming too involved in military operations in Pakistan? Did Obama deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Do you think Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan? Twinkies? Soda? Cigarettes? What items would you pay higher taxes on to ensure health care for all? Do you agree with Obama's decision to continue the practice of sending terrorism suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation? Should President Obama be tackling both the economy and health care at the same time? Some gay rights activists say Obama is not taking their concerns seriously enough. Are they right? How should Obama prioritize the battles he takes to Congress? Will Obama's speech in Egypt improve America's image in the Muslim world? Who should Obama nominate as the next Supreme Court justice and why? Has the press been too lenient on Obama in his first 100 days? What do you think of Obama's performance on his debut trip abroad as president? Do you think Obama's budget plan is too ambitious? How do you think Obama has done in his first 50 days in office? Do you blame Obama for not living up to his no-earmark pledge?

Commenter: Cathy
To tackle the economy one must tackle the problem of rising health care costs and lack of insurance for 46 million people. We are paying for the care in emergency rooms for people who have to wait until the last moment because they don't have insurance. Preventive care and prompt care will help bring down health costs for everyone.


Commenter: Linda de Iberri
I don't think he has much choice. Health care was a major platform of his campaign so his supporters are expecting him to tackle it now and his detractors would have made an issue of it if he hadn't because they are looking for any excuse to portray him in a negative light. Fixing the economy could not wait because we are all depending on the recession being brought under control as soon as possible and his detractors would have REALLY made an issue of it if nothing was done. I just hope he pushes through the Public Option.
Thank you


Commenter: Lou Blair
As a retired administrator of a non-profit hospital, I KNOW that the public option is essential to provide universal preventive care while reducing costs. KEEP THE PUBLIC OPTION!


Commenter: Liz
They go hand-in-hand. One can not fix one without fixing the other. If we're "No.1" and the "best country in the world" shouldn't we be able to tackle both?! I believe the 'good 'ol boys and gals' in Washington just don't want to have to work as hard as President Obama expects them to. We're paying them to work, of course they can tackle both.


Commenter: Gregory D. MELLOTT
The oldest and perhaps most logical perspective is to work with the abundance [tithe origin is there]. If there is nothing to work with then; the focus obviously goes to getting the system that generates the abundance working again. Where this falls down in the modern world is that there is basically a huge amount of cultivation rewards mixed in with the resource management fund system.
This allows the money system to be manipulated. Acquire alot of cultivation rewards and buy up resources that ideally would be more evenly distributed. There is a lot of confusion on value also. From my understanding there is enough gold already in the hands of man to make a cubic mile block. If one divided that into, lets say, 10 billion pieces [projected world population]. That would make each piece over 14 cubit feet in volume. There is no logical need for that much gold, and you definitely cannot eat it to survive. It is over valued. That's one case of craziness of the present money system. I'll try to describe a possible solution after getting into just health care insurance.

Basically, health insurance is only an agreement to cover, up to a certain point, the cost of relating to some (potential) problem. If is purely a numbers game, and presumably cheaper that going to a bank to secure funds to cover the same amount. Ultimately, God is the only truly good health insurance.
If we are wishing to try and encourage resources to be potentially applied to our needs, we need a system that encourages others to find a profit in doing so.

A possible solution would be to looks at money as having two functioning arenas of management [resource/cultivation] and record in relavant detail our transactions accordingly; then it is possible for the cultivation arena to go into the IOU realm without generating havoc on the resource arena, where a negative quantity is impossible to use. That would let the system out run a errancy [like we have now] in the fund system and perhaps even thrive, as long as the resource potential was there to work with.
That done, I'd say there would be a strong drive for the developement of competing institutions to try and get the people's resources to go through there system of cultivation, so they can cover the resource costs of the infrastructure needed to do the job. With that competion there would be an endeavor to inform the people how there system was better than the other(s) in doing that job. So information would get out without specifically leaning on an education system to do it all. Things can change so fast these days anyway. With the competition there could also be a strong information storage system (that in itself would not by itself be directly identifying people). That redundancy would help the information persist, as well as allow the competion to work on your concerns as detailed as you felt they might benefit you.
With computers now being asked to generate a one payer system for health care. It is clearly notable that the technology is likely up to such a task. Frankly, as far as that particular concern goes, I'd just have a governing agency maintain a standardized interface for formatting information and compensation exchanges. That way the health care providers can more readily spend their resources on getting people healthier. Rather than pushing information around in a confusing multitude of forms; hoping they might get paid thereby.
I'd definitely ask that they go to a nation wide acceptable ID system though. The Social Security number is quite inadequate. In fact to make sure at first that there was not doubt that about its real purpose, it originally said right on it that it was not to be used as an ID. It is an account number like you get from a bank, if you wish.
Sincerely, gdm


Commenter: jennie
Pres.Obama is doing his best to right the problems in the US. I think anyone who has Americas best interests at heart should be behind him.The fight against the private insurance companies is all uphill because they stand to lose HUGH profits


Commenter: Rebecca
Yes. He should be taking care of both. He should be able to multi-task. If he can't, how did he end up President?

Second point, health care and the economy are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


Commenter: Ejoma
Short answer yes. I buy into the argument that addressing healthcare IS addressing the economy. Pay me now or pay me later(as a commercial once said.) We taxpayers will pay for it one way or the other. The dollars will be spent and affect the economy right NOW!! Can we afford to ignore this need because the dollars spent are computed differently(In a way we can more easily ignore?)


Commenter: Helen Winfrey
Health Care Reform is an economic issue as much banking, industry, trade, etc. I stand with the President Obama on this one. If only those who are spreading the misinformation and creating the hysteria would cease and desist for 24 hours, perhaps we might have a rational discussion of the real issues.


Commenter: peter hill
YES, because they are the same thing. Your question offers a false dichotomy. Health care consumes 1/6 of the economy, which is why it's so high on the President's agenda.


Commenter: Greg
No,
He should be focusing on health care and single payer like he promised. Presidents can't do anything about the economy anyway. Let Bernanke take care of the little that can be done by Government. It just has to work it's way out. people have to get used to the fact that their house is now almost worth what it should be and it's not an ATM machine. The dems got voted in to enact single payer health care, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and fix the economy. Looks like they are failing on all four. They won't be elected again next time if they don't deliver on health care single payer. I will not be voting for them again.


Commenter: Rebecca G
Yes. I wish for President Obama and all of us that they could be dealt with leisurely(not quite, but at least one being a little less dire than the other). Now with the economy,jobs being so unsure, and the Federal Government finally noticing that big private insurance companies are dropping and denying people care at increasingly alarming rates. And more and more people work for small businesses who are not able to compete for affordable healthcare. And even more people working for large businesses-e.g. Wal-Mart- who don't offer insurance or make is so expensive that they've had to go on state plans.


Commenter: Erik Berg
Both the economy and health care are in need of reform and are interrelated issues. Many US businesses struggle to provide health care insurance for there employees and is a business cost that is passed on to both the consumer and employee. Rising health care costs hurts consumers, employees, and employers. With the projected increases in these costs the system is not sustainable as is, and should of been tackle in the 90's. Both will continue to make US businesses less competitive in world markets.

In my view the only logical solution is to reduce cost by pooling the risk among more people instead continuing in the current direction of decreasing the number of people insured. Creating regional non-profit coops that can compete with regional insurers is a step in the right direction. Currently there does not appear to be real competition as most of the insurers seem to dominate a regional markets.

There are of course many other positive steps that could also be taken such as changing the reimbursement from procedure based to outcome based, more emphasis on preventative management with better reimbursement for interventions that help reduce the potential for chronic life style diseases such as diabetes and etc.

Sadly, it seems that the minority party is not interested in working together with President Obama on reforming healthcare and is mostly interested in opposing health care reform. Obviously the market can't regulate itself in business or in health care to achieve the best results for people.


Commenter: DE Moore
The Obama Administration, inherited the several Trillion$$ deficit. The Economy was in desperate status. The Auto industry was bankrupt, we had to have a Stimulus package and other measures to attempt recovery and slow/stop unemployment. Healthcare needs to be Reformed. The US public pays 20% more for healthcare, yet has higher deathrates for maternal


Commenter: Gautam Das
We must have the public option. We must have a health care bill. If we cannot get a health care reform bill passed this time with a democratic majority, when will we ever get it done?

I am very optimistic that we can get it done. The hard line right wing twisted rumors and spreading fear cannot he allowed to win. The democrats have enough votes to pass a health care bill. You have to get it done. There are absolutely no excuses not to this time. Dear President and the Democratic Congressmen and Senators we are counting on you to deliver health care bill with the public option.

Please tell us what we can do to move this forward.


Commenter: Lynn Crozier
YES! Thank goodness he has the courage, wisdom and commitments to take on one of the biggest hindrances to this country's economic progress, by radically changing the conversation about health care funding! He should STICK TO HIS VISION and keep a public option in this bill no matter what - even if it has to be called a "pilot program to prove its viability." Then when all this lying and hysteria calm down and people see how much better it is, we can finally move our health care system into the 21st century! Bravo, President Obama!


Commenter: Joseph A. Mungai
Since our current healthcare system relies on employment for healthcare and job losses and loss of employer health insurance are a result of our economy, I think they are directly related.

Also, if I understand the insurance industry correctly, they want taxpayers to essentially subsidize CEO pay packages and shareholder profits to insure everyone under their insurance plans only.

Evidently, the insurance industry can't figure out how they can compete with a human rights policy while spending billions of dollars on lobbying fees and campaign contributions while denying care and other monopolizing practices. Certainly this adds to the economic crisis.

Some even have the gall to say that malpractice lawsuits for negligence are a cause of rising healthcare costs when at least 100,000 die each year due to preventable deaths. Claire McCaskill has talked a lot about how they passed tough malpractice reform laws in Missouri, yet most residents of her state didn't see premiums go down.

Also, malpractice premiums only add about 0.6% to the cost of health care. If all malpractice lawsuits were eliminated and all malpractice insurance were eliminated, we would reduce the total cost of our health bills by only 6 CENTS out of every 100 DOLLARS. Of the hundreds of thousands injured by medical negligence each year, only about 2 percent of these people ever bring a malpractice lawsuit and doctors win about 80 percent of every malpractice lawsuit that goes to trial.

Full disclosure and honest debates don't appear to be happening.


Commenter: Christi Collins
Tackling both the economy and healthcare at the same time is a huge undertaking but, unfortunately, it must be done. The devistating recession and out of control healthcare costs are like having a building with two sources of fire. If you put out one fire but let the other one burn, the building still burns down. Those who believe that the U.S. has the best health care in the world are either rich or stupid. Even Cuba offers health care to all of its citizens. Universal health care should have been passed during the Clinton administration. The current system is rediculous. Reform is long over due.


Commenter: John
They are the same. The president made it clear what his plan was to fix the economy and health care is a part of that plan. We've done so little for so long that it looks as if we're traveling 65mph when we're only traveling 30.


Commenter: Shari C.
Obama has one goal in mind, and one goal only. That is to devestate, and financially break the United Staes of America.
When asked whether or not Obama, and our politicians would use the same health care plan they are proposing for the nation, their reply was, "we will have to think about it". Today, Aug. 14, a new addition was included in "our" health care bill. The President, and politicians are now exempt from having to use the same health care plan they want for the people of this nation.
What does that tell you?
What should that tell you?
The health care bill is a farce, along with all of the bills being railroaded through Congress.
Our great Nation is at the hands of a Tyrannical leader who's only goal is to break all of us so when it is time to implement the "New World Order", we will be a destitute nation who will agree willingly.
Educate yourselves. Google "New World Order", Bildeberg group, Eugenics in our nation today and how this administration is intent on committing it.
Go to Infowars.com, read the bills that are being passed, do your research please. This administration, and everything they are passing, without reading, or agreeing to use themselves, is with one intention only!


Commenter: JoAnn Witt
Yes, he should, but, unfortunately, he is a conservative, and he wants to take money away from Medicare. That is a real shame. I voted for Nader; because, I knew Obama was a conservative. It is just a shame, that so many people don't understand this.

This is evident by the way he has handled the banking industry, also.


Commenter: rivadog56
The president hit a wall on this one. He has made gains.
The unemployment rates are still too high. And he is not focused on terror threats , or homeless. Time to back burner his health care gains, so far and cry uncle for now.


Commenter: Ralph Watkins
He should not tackle either Bush whom was anything but a conservative used the same policies on tackleing the problem it did not work with Rosevelt Hoover Bush nor England recently Japan nor will it work for Obama thinking it will is insane doing the same thing expecting different results. Health Care the government cannot and should not run a bussiness the real reason the Chicago political machine wants this is it is the 3rd largest bussiness in the world to see how well Obama would run it don't take my word for it search on the net and see how well his wife's programs worked for the poor when she was working for the University of Chicago Medical Center Clinton had enough sense to pull out of this early when he saw how the public felt and in the congessional elections of 2010 Obama will see his mistake of not pulling out as he will in 2012.


Commenter: Sue Parker
Yes, both are critical issues, and job creation is vital to both. Problems in both arenas arise in significant degree from unbridled greed -- by banks and Wall Street, and by health insurance companies and clinic-owning physicians. The money health care and drug companies spend on lobbyists and TV advertisements to oppose health reform could help pay for coverage of pre-existing conditions insurers now reject. The health care for all that we need can only come from the government: Extension of Medicaid and Medicare with their low overhead costs would be the simplest path. The greedy health care companies and the Congressmen they pay are the shame of our Nation., and the cause of immense suffering.


Commenter: George E. Lawhon
Absolutely. He need only to read Robert Reich's comments here on PBS.org to have the details. He must convert the debate immediately to show that while while it is necessary to reform the whole system, he must show that the real roadblock cancer is the insurance health care industry (a misnomer,they don't deliver a drop of health care),insist that Congress take away their subsidies, and put them in the market place with a public option. The idea that health care service, any of it, is in the capital market, is an economic outrage. What's next, the fire department? Like a schoolyard bully, they need to be dealt with, now, or they will continue to eat our collective lunch.

He needs to come out fighting with a plan, soon, and keep pushing, persistently and hard. He needs to be in their face, everywhere: TV, the newspaper, radio, and public forums and never, never ever let up or give up.


Commenter: Ismael Aragon
I'm years old from San Jose.ca I work all my life until I became unable to work..thank God my wife still has me on her HOM.were separated if not for her. I Would out in the cold.. what is wrong with u.s.health care? the only health that is important in the insurance.co profits..our system is set up backward those who very healthy get it all?but if you need long term care forget it?very well off get all they need or they just put out lot of money. please Mr.Obama how can the USA.rank below the Ten in health care of it people.its cost less money keep someone healthy.. it cost ten times more to treat the very sick... healthy baby's will become healthier people.... and cost less to keep healthier


Commenter: Sandy Plumb
Yes. The President needs to address both the economy and health care. They are interdependent, economy wise.


Commenter: L. C.
One cannot be solved without solving the other. We MUST have a Government Option because that is the only thing that will make the insurance companies hospitals and pharmaceutical companies more competitive. Insurance companies may not make $.20 profit on every healthcare premium, but they will more than make up the loss by insuring many more people who will be forced to buy insurance. MANY of those people will be young and healthy for years to come and insurance companies will be raking in premium dollars all that time. Give me a break. Those people who currently pay for "cadillac plans" will still have that choice, but more important, people who can't afford the most expensive healthcare must be guaranteed a plan that offers not only traditional basic healthcare, but also preventative healthcare without any pre-condition discrimination.


Commenter: Mike Barnes
We all assume the president all the problems as they accur.


Commenter: Gail Winterkorn
I believe President Obama is tackling two halves of the same coin and I support his tackling of both of these issues simultaneously. Outside of Washington and Wall St., things are rough and getting rougher. Increased productivity does not equal increased pay or benefits in our lives. We do not have the "choice" of healthcare, it is now a privilege. I have been uninsured for 12 years until the recent "recession" where I have had the "opportunity" to become poor enough to "qualify" for medicaid. I have worked within the heathcare system for 15 years and have seen the healthcare decisions made based on fiscal rather than medical guidelines. The death panels are not formed by the government but, rather, by the insurance companies who profit by the denial of our care. I support a Single payor system and feel compassion for the people who cannot look beyond their own pockets at the humanity and suffering surrounding them. Greed and Avarice are our new gods.


Commenter: norma mclennan
Absolutely. Don't give up, we need your strength.


Commenter: Matt
I agree with Nancy Ray.


Commenter: Michael Popovich, Jr.
Yes, President Obama seems to be on track handling both the economy and health care. Already the stimulus program is doing the job intended by the President. Projections by the White House have projected massive savings from the new health care program. Costs incurred in the current private sector program are increasing at startling rate. It is costing Ameericans proper health coverage and illness unchecked. So, doing both together allows us to place the new health care program with its savings into an economy focused in the direction needed for realistic growth. If the banking system does the job in supporting the economy and investing as needed (collateral investment)former President Clinton sees the energy program as another change that can be started.


Commenter: a us citizen
no fix the money then fix health care


Commenter: Russ Johnson
How can you pay for any improvement, Health or otherwise, until the economy recovers and people are employed again. Taking the focus off the economy weakens the recovery and the opportunity to re-focus on health later. What is the hurry on health-care now, Congress does not even have time to read the bills and discuss them openly in session to allow voters to understand what they are proposing.


Commenter: William Luttrell
Obama needs to start listening to what the real people of America really want. Most of us are happy with our health care. We hear about his plan, but what is "his" plan. All I read is the House plan, and he says it isn't true. If it isn't true then where is the alternative plan that we can review? He says that Medicare is corrupt. The government cannot control Medicare. How can we expect government to control a much larger plan, and why would we want more government in our lives>???


Commenter: Dennis Roule
Health care requires immediate action. The economy will eventually right itself. The primary focus should be on fixing the for-profit health insurance industry. Universal coverage and elimination of exclusions for pre-existing conditions should be a priority.


Commenter: Pat Buitrago
I think he can handle both issues, but his approach to health care has me flummoxed. I don't understand why he did not formulate a plan that specified what he wanted and then work to get a similar plan through Congress. I am sickened to watch the sausage being made, and I am very distressed that both the President (whom I ardently supported) and the scurrilous Congress are acting, not as the STATESMEN who are required by our present crises, but as business-as-usual sausage-making politicians. I truly believed what President said during the campaign, and I am sad, sad, sad that he is not taking advantage of his Democratic stronghold to rise above politics and expedient deals.


Commenter: Everardo
I think Obama has the right ideas and he only intents to do what he think is better for us.The think that I dont understand is why so many people is getting mad and causing problems on town conferences. We should all be united on order to succed. I think we all agreed that the health system that we have right now is not working because of the fact that not everybody is rich and there is millions of people that can't afford to have a medical insurance and when they got sick is almost imposible to seek medical assistance because even if you go to see a doctor to get treated for a flu it became very expensive, and peope already is having problems to pay their bills. Obama is only trying to help us and we should understand that instead of being complaining.


Commenter: Ilene Pozniak
He has no choice but to deal with these issues concurrently because the cost of health care and lack of health care for many has and will continue to have a negative effect on our economy. Leaving people "uninsured" is costing all of us, and it will eventually bankrupt the systems in place that have worked... The spiraling of health care costs will eventually "outprice" more and more of us!!! We all need to support President Obama....


Commenter: mary pat george
Yes, they are inseparable---one cannot be repaired without the other. If health care is not fixed, it is going to bring down any good that can be done to the economy in other ways.


Commenter: Sharon Broughton
In order to solve the long term economic problems and compete in the global market, we as a nation must solve our health crisis.


Commenter: Sieglinde Seidelman
I am convinced that this President, unlike the previous One, is perfectly able to walk and chew gum at the same time.


Commenter: Eugene Quinn, Ph.D.
YES! The problems are intertwined. We spend a higher fraction of our GDP on healthcare than any industrialized nation. This makes us less competitive in the world economy and less healthy. Americans live sicker and die younger than citizens of countries who have figured out how to provide healthcare to everyone.


Commenter: Laura Baumann
Yes. I don't see how he can do otherwise. Health care and the economy are to tightly intertwined that he really has to tackle them both now. In fact, I think many of the economic problems we face would be greatly alleviated if we would institute a single-payer universal health care system.


Commenter: Concerned Citizen
Yes. Our health care needs to be fixed. Waiting and saying that evereyone is happy with what they have is wrong. Maybe that's true for the very rich and the very poor, but it is not true for much of the middle class. Doing nothing about health care is hurting the economy because health costs have skyrocketed.

I have health insurance, but it is expensive and our family still needs to make additional payments because insurance will not always cover what is best for our children's health (as per our doctor(s)).


Commenter: Mary Ahrendt
That is what I voted for.


Commenter: Nancy Ray
The economy and health care are interrelated. Medicare fraud is costing the government millions of dollars. Big Pharma and the Medicare Advantage plans are costing the government more millions. Huge premiums and co-pays are costing Americans more than they can afford.

All this is affecting the economy and needs to be fixed immediately.


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