I don't usually use this blog to comment on political candidates, but this seems appropriate given the readership who care about aging issues.
Here's an article passed on to me by Albert Camus:
It's that time in an election year when the air is filled with promises and sound bites of how health care will be fixed. Each of the current presidential candidates offers different solutions for extending available care while controlling costs. At the same time, each candidate faces a climate in which lobbyists spend around 17 million dollars every day in Washington (see â€œHealth Care, Insurance Dominate Lobbyâ€).
The front runners admit that there is no magic bullet and generally endorse a multi-tiered set of solutions which embrace both public and privatized elements.
Barack Obama's Health Plan
Barack Obama proposes that affordable and quality universal health care coverage can be achieved through a mix of private and expanded public insurance. Quality and cost containment would be encouraged by various types of oversight, improved and more efficient systems and regulation to ensure better competition between insurance companies.
The cost of the Obama plan, when fully phased in, is estimated to be between $50 to $65 billion a year, with savings coming from within the system and from discontinued tax cuts.
Hillary Clinton's Health Proposal
Hillary Clinton likewise proposes a combination of oversight measures, incentives, system improvements and other means of leveling the availability of care. The cost of the Clinton plan is estimated to be $110 billion a year, also with savings from new system quality and efficiency, savings from Medicare private plans, constraining prescription drug costs and the discontinuing of tax cuts for both individual incomes above $250,000 and for employer-paid health insurance tax exclusions. The Democratic candidates both intend to make health insurance a requirement, either just for children or for every American.
The John McCain Health Plan
John McCain opposes insurance requirements. The McCain campaign proposes to provide access to affordable health care by only paying for quality care, providing for a diversity of insurance choices, and encouraging personal responsibility. Like the Democratic candidates, he proposes a variety of fixes, including improved system and technological efficiency, tort reform, improvements in incentives and competition-driven prices.
Predictably, the McCain health care plan relies on more market-driven initiatives, such as increased competition between providers and drug companies, better alternatives and information for consumers and insurance deregulation that would enhance competition. There is no estimated cost of the McCain plan as of yet, but the campaign indicates that cost containment will make insurance more affordable.
Study: Health Care and Insurance Dominate the Washington Lobby Health-Insurance.org. Accessed 4/22/08.
Providing Affordable and Accessible Health Care Hillary for President. Accessed 4/22/08.
Healthcare Obama08. Accessed 4/22/08
Straight Talk on Health System Reform.On the Issues, JohnMccain.com. Accessed 4/22/08
Lanier, Safiyyah Health Care: John McCain vs. Barack Obama. Health Care Today. Accessed 4/20/08.