Cover Story: Health care debate - | WBTV Charlotte

Cover Story: Health care debate

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - No one disagrees something needs to be done about health care, but there is wide disagreement on what it should be.  And with what's happened the last six to nine months in the country.. there's a lot of skepticsm going around right now. 

The questions are pointed.

"Have you taken any money from insurance companies?"

And the statements are poignant.

"We can't afford this program putting one trillion dollars more into the government."

Signs of support.. Health care for America now.  And chants of opposition.

"Hands off my health care!"

What is it about health care and a possible overhaul that's got us so wound up?

Simple answer is.. it's our health.. it's personal and affects all of us.

And unlike budgeting for a car or a house.. with health care-- cost doesn't matter.. you do whatever it takes.

And turning our options over to the government scares a lot of people.

"I think people know that government is inefficient. Other than waging war and collecting taxes tell me something government's good at."

Cable TV talk show host Danny Fontana sees a distrust of government he hasn't seen in a long time.

Perhaps it's because of government over reaching.

Bailing out the banks.

Taking over Detroit.

Bailing out people who won't pay their mortgage.

All adding up to a record deficit.. and knowing it's going to wind up costing us down the road if health care's added on top.. but there's more.

"Part of the anxiety is just.. wow you guys are really going too far too fast.. can we slow down and take a look at this?"

Joe Coletti is the health care policy analyst for the conservative-leaning John Locke Foundation based in Raleigh.

He says the health care bill.. it's more than a-thousand pages long.. that's it there next to where Congressman Patrick McHenry is standing.. has so much in it.. and there's a perception that it's being rushed through Congress that it takes peoples' breath away.

"You're messing with my health care now. And I don't know if I'm going to be able to continue the plan that I have. I don't know if my employer if there's a public option if my employer's going to want to continue this," says Coletti.

And so it's heightened the level of anxiety and anger.. evidence at town hall meetings members of Congress are getting back home.

So what are the odds of reform happening?

We asked Danny Fontana to take a guess.

"Six months ago I would have said it's a done deal. A month ago I would have said it's dead. And now I'm saying to you some version is going to be passed. What that verison is I don't know and whether or not we can live with it."

Some members of Congress are getting scared.

Death threats have been made against at least one congressman if he voted for the health care overhaul bill.

Others are saying if you vote yes.. they're going to vote no come the next election.. and for members of the House of Representatives that's 15 months away.

 

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