Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Presidential Candidates and Their Plans For Health Care

Well, the Internet and conventional media are all abuzz now that Barack Obama is officially the Democratic Party's candidate for President of the U.S. For the Health Care Reform Now! Blog, that means that it is time once more to take a look at his plan for dealing with the health care crisis. With that in mind, I would like to share part of a post I found on Joseph Padua's Managed Care Matters Blog:

The differences between the McCain and Obama plans are big – really big. Philosophically, McCain’s approach is market-based and tax policy driven, relying on individuals to make the best decisions on health care procedures and treatment. His plan would remove the favorable treatment of employer-funded health insurance, instead providing a refundable tax credit of $2500/individual or $5000 per family to help them buy insurance (note – the average individual policy now costs over $4000 and the average family policy cost exceeds $12,000). Conversely, Obama’s plan is more pragmatic, focused on fixing the problems with the current market-based system with a ban on medical underwriting, a comprehensive ‘minimum’ benefit design, financial help for small employers buying health insurance, and some sort of stop-loss insurance for high dollar claims.
Mr. Padua goes on to do a quick but telling point-by-point comparison of the approach taken by each of these Presidential contenders. What really stands out in his analysis is the fact that unlike so much of the politicized polemic being bandied about, he actually illustrates pros as well as cons on each side.

Pointing out that McCain is "dead on when he talks about the need to pay for health, not reimburse for procedures," he then provides criticism of the Arizona Senators proposed methodology. One of his huge criticisms of the McCain approach is the fact that it would cause a massive increase in the nation's budget deficit. Not only that, but these costs would be an immediate expense incurred by implementation of his programs.

The health care aspect of the run for the White House is going to get very interesting in coming months. The ongoing comparison/contrast of the two candidates is sure to be a hot topic, especially now that Sen. Obama has joined forces with Elizabeth Edwards (post and video via Crooks and Liars)

SOURCE: "Obama, McCain, and Health Care Reform" 06/10/08
SOURCE: "Obama To Team Up With Elizabeth Edwards On Health Care Reform" 06/09/08
photo courtesy of ~twon~, used under its Creative Commons license

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