Editor's Note: For the past few weeks, readers have had an opportunity to vote on a poll at www.thebraziltimes.com.
The poll, "Are you in favor of President Obama's healthcare bill," drew 1,181 responses.
Respondents were given three choices in the poll, including yes, no or I don't know.
Of those responses, a total of 855 said they did not favor the bill (72.4 percent).
In contrast, 238 (20.2 percent) said they did favor the bill.
A total of 88 (7.5 percent) said they weren't sure.
Respondents are always allowed to offer an opinion regarding poll questions on the website.
With this poll, a total of 48 left comments.
One respondent stated, "The bill is unconstitutional. When Republicans regain control of both the House and Senate in November, I am confident that they will find a way to repeal the new law."
Another said, "I would have liked more time to understand what it offers and what hidden bills or perks that we are going to have to pay for."
Another replied with, "I don't think people should automatically disagree until they read the bill and stop listening to radio ads. They lie."
During the course of the past few weeks, The Brazil Times asked readers to e-mail, call, fax or stop by to discuss their thoughts on the health care bill.
Several people did and we wanted to share these with the readers.
Below are a few of the responses readers delivered.
By Helen Tackett
How will history spell President Barack Obama's momentous health care bill?
I-r-o-n-y, not r-e-f-o-r-m.
The reconciled health care bill passed by Congress only cut away some of the irrelevant special interest pork that was in the first health care bill proposed by our president. It did not reform the delivery of health care to us.
The major flaw in government's attempt to improve health care for all of us is it adds at cost, to the taxpayers, millions more people to an expensive, riddled with fraud private health care system that is manipulated by for-profit hospitals and health insurance companies.
As a first-world industrial country, America has the unique distinction of using the private sector to broker our nation's health care.
Due to this phenomena, health care costs have risen higher than general inflation.
It is this fact that directly increases the cost of our socialized medicine known as Medicaid.
This year alone, 500,000 baby boomers now are eligible for unreformed Medicaid.
President Obama and the Democrats in Congress vulgarly gloat over their victory of the Republicans in Congress and those taxpayers who protested the passage of this costly health care bill.
President Obama's Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's glee are short-lived because we, the people, who work hard and pay our taxes, can add and subtract.
And we know our income will be subjected to higher taxes because government health care spending will consume 20 percent of our Gross Domestic Product by 2017 and will rise to 25 percent of the GDP in 2025.
Because we, the people who do pay taxes, know there is no reform, only economic damage, done by this health care bill.
President Obama's gloating smile will be turned upside down when he is not re-elected president in 2012.
The national media has obviously been all over this issue. I believe that the vast majority of Americans really don't know many of the details of the plan/bill and their opinions are mostly based on what they hear from the media.
One side says it may be the worst thing to ever happen to our country, while the other side says it should have been done years ago and will be one of the best things to ever happen.
My belief is that more than likely the results of this new health care program will be somewhere in between the two opinions.
We'll just have to let it play out and see what we get.
Either way, I'm sure there will be a lot of "tweaking" to the bill over the next few years to try to get it right.
We shall see how it plays out.
In the meantime, people should calm down and get on with their lives.
Submitted By Robin Burkhart
You will always be paying taxes. We have since we broke from the Mother Country across the pond, read your history books.
Now, the real question you need to think about is, do you as a middle class American earning less than $200,000 a year want to keep paying more for the wealthy to have their tax breaks?
Sorry, but this is the truth.
Now, Republicans keep stating they are not for tax increases, but under (President George W. Bush's) rule, the wealthy (more than $200,000 yearly) got tax breaks and who do you think picked that tab up? Middle class Americans.
Under which president did the shady banking occur? The first bail out too? George W. Bush.
Now the Republicans are trying to block a bill making banks being held accountable for their actions, can I too not be held accountable for my actions? I would like this favoritism. Oh, but I am not wealthy enough (reality check came in just in time).
I am tired of the lies and I feel that this is the change we can believe in because all I see Republicans doing is fighting against everything our President, House and Senate is trying to accomplish. This must mean he is striking a real nerve and I think it is about time.
Passing health care is our first step in the right direction and I hope that we get many more.
Ask yourself if our rights are being tread upon with the passing of the health care bill, then why is it that auto insurance is not? We are made to carry it, is my car truly more important than my health?
I can't wait to get to Heaven to talk with Jesus about how cars are more important than human beings. I really wander "what he would think."
Now with that being said, as a register nurse in a critical care unit, I see many young and elderly dying of simple disease that if they were receiving their medications, they were prescribed, would have lived. No mother should have died from a urinary tract infection not being treated because she works two jobs to support her two children and a doctor visit would be another bill for her and never mind that she could not afford the antibiotic needed to treat that infection or the veteran that has a heart condition and needs life saving medications but has to pay the electric bill and needs to eat, too.
Really, we need to stop and think about this.
And by the way, when someone does not pay their health care bill, what do you think happens?
Your health care costs rise.
Just a fact.
Submitted by Judy Proctor
...I voted in the poll against the current bill, but am in favor of a reform that will reduce costs, not raise costs like the current reform bill does.
The government is spending more than $1 trillion a year more than it takes in. That is simply a recipe for disaster. And to that, we want to add another entitlement?
And if you believe the CBO that this bill will actually reduce the deficit, you need to understand that the CBO has to accept the assumptions made by Congress, regardless of how obviously they will not pan out.
For another thing, the reform act did not include the doctor fix. They are going to put that into a totally separate bill. If they don't, doctors will be retiring by the thousands because they cannot afford to work for less than their costs.
And besides, Congress has never passed an entitlement that has actually cost less than or equal to what was projected.
Congress is primarily composed of a bunch of politicians whose primary goal is to get reelected. Voters seem to be primarily composed of a bunch of people who are primarily interested in what they can get from the government. From my experience, even a lot of the tea party people are senior citizens whose primary concern is making sure the government continues to provide them with social security, income and Medicare.
As more and more people become dependent on the government, there are fewer and fewer people left to pay in to the government. And since most of the jobs being created are jobs paid for with tax money, we are quickly approaching the point if we haven't already passed it where more people are dependent on tax money than there are people paying taxes.
The people seem to have figured out that they can vote themselves money, as was feared by the men who founded this country. They foolishly have not yet figured out that they are destroying the source of that money, i.e., private industry.
I strongly suspect that most of those who favored this reform do not truly understand how much this is really going to cost, and they are not going to get what they expect from this bill. The bill can make it a law that all these people have to be covered all it wants. But the bill is set up to bankrupt all the insurance companies, not reduce costs. That will force a single payer system.
When the government can no longer borrow money (who's going to lend money to someone who hasn't lived within their budget for many years and who shows no effective effort to do so in the future?), the money won't be there to pay out. And don't be thinking the government can just take it from the rich. It is the ones who have money that hire the ones who don't. If you take away the entire income of all the rich people in this country, it not only won't be enough, you can only do it once. Then guess what the unemployment rate will be?
The government can't spend money that isn't there, no matter what the law says. We are in for some hard, hard times, ahead.