Friday, November 16, 2007

Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama on Health Care

With less than a year to go before the United States decides who will be the country's new chief executive the debates are starting to get heated. Last night's debate among candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination was a perfect case in point. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton faced off against Senator Barack Obama. The subject of health care reform proved, to no one's surprise, to be the hot button issue.

Michael Cooper of the New York Times reports:

The crux of their dispute centers on their overall approaches to health care.

Mrs. Clinton's plan would require all Americans to get coverage and would provide subsidies to make it more affordable. Mr. Obama's plan would require only children to have coverage; his plan would require employers to provide coverage or contribute to a new public program that would make insurance more affordable to people not covered by their jobs or by the government.

“The only difference between Senator Clinton's health care plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without health care is that nobody has mandated - forced - them to get health care,” Mr. Obama said. “That's not what I'm seeing around Nevada. What I see are people who would love to have health care. They desperately want it. But the problem is they can't afford it.”
Aswini Anburajan adds the following on MSNBC's First Read:
Obama has pledged, repeatedly, on the stump to pass universal healthcare by the end of his first term in office. He promises to do so through a mixture of bravado, “If Harry and Louise get up on TV, I'll dip into my campaign fund and run my own ads saying Harry and Louise are wrong;” and by running an open process in which every party will have a seat at the table.
The main quantitative difference between the three main Democratic front runners, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, is that only Senator Obama's plan does not mandate care (requiring coverage) for everyone. In the debate and on the stump he has questioned the ability of government to enforce such a mandate. Mr. Cooper's article quotes him as saying of Senator Clinton's approach, "She states that she wants to mandate health care coverage, but she's not garnishing people's wages to make sure that they have it.”

From here on out things should continue to heat up in the various debates. Check back with us often as we keep our fingers on the pulse of health care reform!

SOURCE: "It Was Clinton vs. Obama on Health Care" 11/16/07
SOURCE: "What's Obama's Health care Position?" 11/15/07
photo courtesy of swanksalot on Flickr, used under this Creative Commons license


  1. Health care reform must come soon or I will lose my house to pay dentists, doctors, hospitals, convalescent home. No kidding. They know the insurance co. will pay a part, in PPO cases, so they stick it to you.
    We have a costly system and not so good service. One famous doctor charges one thousand bucks plus the regular exams, just for starters.

    That is life in California.

  2. I am so sorry to hear of your plight, it is no secret that the skyrocketing cost of health care is an incredible burden on the American public. The fact that this burden is shouldered unequally by different segments of our society is one of the reasons that the push for Health Care Reform is so urgent.

    Be well.

  3. Health Care in the U.S. is in shambles. I have health care providers who will not provide health care services to me because of who I have health care insurance with.
    "You have a lump on your breast?" "Sorry, we are not accepting any more patients with Aetna Insurance." Oh, but here comes Maria from Reynosa, Mexico and her water just broke...By law, we have to provise health care to her. They deliver Maria's baby and off she goes back to Mexico. We, the tax payer's pay her medical bills and Maria's new born automatically becomes a U.S. citizen. Too bad so sad for your lump in the breast.....You tell me...What is wrong with this picture????

  4. I can speak for treatment of illegal immigrants in IL. They receive care, but they receive a bill in the mail. They are given the option of a payment plan if they cannot pay cash. Who can?

  5. When someone feels sick, common sense tells us that one should not be afraid to go to the doctor for check up or follow a treatment because of unaffordable costs and/or confusion on limited health care benefits (for the ones who have some kind of insurance). Should be simplier than that in the most powerfull country in the work, everybody (legal, illegal, visitors, etc.) should be covered and period. If necessary, we (at least I) don't care on adding a couple of points in my taxes (anyways I would spend those extra points and much more at the present health care situation).

  6. A health care reform will not save your house. Sure, you won't have medical bills, but your taxes will skyrocket. The quality of care will go down, as well. You think it's bad now? Just wait until there is no competition among facilities and they lose the little empathy that they have now.
    PLUS, the waiting lists will be so long that you might as well forget being treated at all.
    You should do some research before you support things that sound good.

  7. Anonymous: If I am misunderstnding you please pardon me, but I must take issue with something you said.

    If your comment about doing research before supporting something was aimed at the post itself and not another commenter then I must point ut I did not support anything.

    You will notice if you read the original text that the closest to support I came was to say that "it will be interesting." Hardly the same thing.

    I agree the ramifications of fundamental change in health care will have a ripple effect on many strata of people's lifestyles. The purpose of this blog is to primarily focus on the stone that creates those ripples: health care reform.

    While our bias towards electronic medical records among other things is obvious to readers of both this blog and Mr. Halvorson's book Health Care Reform Now, the nature of the information presented is meant to examine news from all sides of the issue.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  8. No health care reform! Yeah it sucks good people are in bad situations. It sucks some people can't afford it. It even sucks that its not 'fair' for everyone.

    Stop crying. I don't have health care. I don't run to the doctor over a little hang nail like most people do and add up a huge bill.

    Steps to help:
    1. People need to stop running to the hospital crying bloody murder over a paper cut.
    2. All people should have to provide proof they are legally in US before receiving care.
    3. Doctors need to stop charing ridiculous rates. Yeah they should get paid for their 8+ years of hard work but c'mon.

    The system sucks but I sure as hell don't want to end up like Canada or pay 50% tax just so its 'fair'. Sorry to be insensitive but get over it. Why would anyone want to pay for everyone else's heath care when you can't even pay for yours now. You pay either way. Think about it.

  9. Shane: sorry, but this blog exists to promote health care reform. I can appreciate your perspective while not agreeing with it at all.

    In response allow me to ask you:

    1. What about people without care who have a valid reason for an ER visit but have no insurance? What if you were in an auto accident or fell off a ladder?

    2. The immigration issue is not one that this blog takes sides on. I report news from all perspectives as it comes up, and only that news that is significant to the health care debate.

    3. The cost of health care is an ongoing and severe issue, I agree. I would advise exploring the complexities of it before simply pinning it all on doctors. Reimbursement rates, insurance and many other factors contribute to that aspect (and it IS a major one) of the problem. I have many posts up that look at various angles of the cost of care issue.

    Thanks for dropping by to share your opinions. The vast majority of Americans, as shown in countless studies, do want reform. What final form that reform will take is something that will evolve over time.

    It is this blog's solid stance that as a country we need Health Care Reform Now!


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