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Will Obama's healthcare plan work?

President Barack Obama has defended his plans for health reform and pledged to push them through by the end of the year. Do you support them?

His plans would reduce health costs, increase choice and widen coverage. Congress is currently debating various proposals, and lawmakers are struggling to reach agreement.

Mr Obama said he now saw "broad agreement" on passing a reform, but a few issues still needed working out. The president has made passing a healthcare reform bill the top priority of his first year in the White House.

Does the US health care system need reform? Will Barack Obama's proposals make things better? Do you have a personal experience of using the heathcare system in the US?

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US readers' views on health reform

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Published: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK

As the details of the many hundred page bill become exposed, such implications as "end of life" counselling - code word for euthanasia???, and the insistence that people will ultimately have no right to obtain private insurance, then it will become. like the US Medicaid system (treatment for the uninsured as cheaply as possible - i.e. minimal band aid treatment) will become the norm for all

mahatchma, stevensville

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK

let's try it and see.

walter donavan, Fort Lauderdale

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK

Obama's plan is very simple: you WILL buy health insurance or you will be fined as much as your health insurance would have cost in the first place. There is no assistance if you cannot afford it unless you are a minority. If you cannot pay the fine, you will be thrown in prison. Such a wonderful administration.

John Q. Public, smalltown, usa

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK

Being Canadian I could say that they can go on and have a health care system as we have in Canada. The only problem for us is if US health care will become as bad as ours, those Canadians with life threatening illnesses and having money where are they going to get a right treatment that they don't get at home? Until now they were going over the border in US. Now we will have to find a different destination.

Adrian, Toronto

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK

Not a snowballs chance in hell. One notable omission is Tort reform to rein in the ambulance chasers. But since these lawyers are major contributors to the Democratic party it is hardly surprising. To fund this monstrosity the Dems will impose massive tax increases on upper income people and the middle class. It still won't be enough so expect a European style value added tax. The model for the Dems is California. Expect the nation as a whole to follow that disasterous path

Bob, Denver, USA

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK

Obama's healthcare plan will fail because of the costs involved and the lack of malpractice reform. Expensive, high tech tests and treatments will be used so long as doctors feel the need to protect themselves against lawsuits. Further, Americans are becoming increasingly obese with the chronic and expensive complications therein (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure). No way Obama is changing these issues.

Bob, Philadelphia

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK

We desperately need reform but I think politicians will cave to health and drug companies - some of the wealthiest lobbyist.

The problem with public support is that few American's know what their health plan actually costs since employers often cover most of it. If more people knew the true cost, they'd probably see things differently.

And we already have a form of nationalize health care - it's call get really sick, go to the hospital, go bankrupt, and the insured will cover your costs

MS, Richmond, VA

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK

It is a shame that the most powerful nation on earth can not provide HC for its people.Is it because of capitalism? I don't know. But, one thing I know for sure is that there are many rogues in this country because of this system and therefore it needs to be changed.We the poor are dieing not because of incurable diseases but because of cost we cannot afford while being robed by $surance companies.A two hours emergency room visit with one Tylenol billed me $6,400+ and now collection agency. Ah!

AlieB Bombolai, Philadelphia, United States

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK

Check the facts - insurance companies are not paying out huge claims on malpractice in California. Check out Prop 103 - not MICRA (the cap). 50% of every dollar in premium stays with insurance company. Every year I negotiate with insurance carrier for health insurance for small company. The rates quoted increase from 10% to 17% each year. There is no preventative health care anymore. Every year I see rising costs for coverage and less rights for patients.

linda, San Diego

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK

Obama's plan will work if the insurance, their lobby and their corrupt ways of making profit from the sick and distitue ends. There is no perfect plan in this world that is inclusive of every single soul, the best is to have some coverage for everyone to some level of dignity. There are too many law suits that have stifiled any form of good health programs with the doctor's blessings, there has to be a limit for damages collected, instead a dorctors license to practise should be revoked.

Chandru Narayan, USA

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK

Obama is -not- advocating to create a public healthcare plan to replace private ones. He is advocating to create a public, alternative option to private healthcare. Private healthcare will continue to exist.

If private healthcare plans are better than the public one, people will be free to choose them. The market will decide the better option. The public plan simply provides a safety net for those people who cannot afford healthcare at all.

Michael, Cambridge

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK

J R Wilson, Indianapolis I have been in the USA 8 years my insurance was 420$ per month when I came here it is now 1100$.

Your not telling the truth. I work in Indy live in Bburg. I pay less than $300 a month for my whole family. I don't believe you are in Indy and where you place the $ sign I don't believe you are in the USA. From a real Hooser.

Andy Wash, Brownsburg IN, United States

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK

My only concern is that my family and I get the treatment we pay our premiums for regardless of health or pre-existing conditions. Others are not my concern. But, before you Brits squawk, consider this - if I - as a regular middle class law abiding taxpaying medical insurance premium payer am OK - then so will everyone else like me be! And we are the vast majority - Control the insurance companies, run the liars and cheats who put profit first out of business. No more cancelations/denials!

Susan Langley, LALondoner

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK

Anything is better than the present situation. When hard working individuals cannot afford health care, the system is inherently flawed. Everyone, regardless of economic or social circumstances, has the right to receive treatment and preventative medicine (immunizations). The US is a modern society and we need to provide basic services to our citizens, including, but not limited to: education, health care, transportation infrastructure, mail delivery. These should not be a negotiable issues.

christiane, Cincinnati

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Added: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK

We do not yet know the details of the proposed plan. What Obama want is a public option for health care, something like Medicare. Now, Medicare accounts for about half of all health spending in the US. Medicare is the 800 pound Gorilla. Medicare sets payments and doctors accept them. Medicare is also the cheapest insurance plan to administer since it is non-profit. It may not be perfect, but no senior I know would give it up.

Jean Jacobsen, Pennsylvania

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