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Who Do You Trust to Remake Healthcare?

By March 14, 2008 - 8:38am
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Who do you think can best remake the healthcare system? Republicans? Democrats? Another Party? Private Industry?

Thanks to Susan for the inspiration.

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For as long as I can remember, national health care has been a battered topic on Capitol Hill. Every Presidential campaign, someone adds it to a list of promises; the Democrats make their proposals, that the Republicans dice and quarter because of the costs.

It shouldn't be left to partisan politics. But, one of the reasons why we have such difficulty coming to agreement on the national health care issue is because the individual states ultimately have to agree and adopt whatever plan. Our states operate autonomously on many levels. Unless and until national health care becomes a Federal mandate, it's probably an impossible dream because we're not too terribly fond of the government issuing mandates when it comes to what we consider personal choices.

Well, at least this is what I remember from my days in political science.

March 14, 2008 - 4:56pm

I believe healthcare is a right, rather than a privilege. Certainly for children, I simply believe it is a right. But I believe we all have a responsibility to take care of our bodies, to not overeat, over drink or do things to our bodies that will cause harm. Therefore to not abuse a universal healthcare system.

I cannot understand how children in America can get free education and not free healthcare. 9 million uninsured children is a national disgrace.

Both private healthcare and universal healthcare have huge problems. While the wait times are usually much shorter in private healthcare, it's much more expensive. While national healthcare is free, the care itself is often substandard. And that's just the beginning of the problems with both systems.

So we need to change what is wrong about both.

Who can do it? I am not sure.

McCain won't plan on a universal (free) healthcare system and his tax credits go to about $5000 per year for families and half that for individuals. Good luck getting adequate private insurance with that in America. However, he has some good plans regarding personal accountability in terms of our health, tort reforms, and putting more money into research. He also wants far more choice for people's healthcare, choices that are national and can cross state lines.

Clinton is planning on universal healthcare but her 'mandate' for healthcare is unusual. Her budget, at $400 billion for her first term is enormous and comes from the pocket of the tax payer. But her policies in general are very good, especially ensuring health care is affordable to all Americans and removing healthcare discrimination.

Obama also has good policies in his plans regarding malpractice insurance (the amount of med students going into OB/GYN is going down due to their fears of lawsuits) as well as using technology to enhance our medical care and AIDS research and care. However, he has a hefty $240 billion first term budget, will expand Medicaid and SCHIP (via our taxes) and still depends on employer-related health insurance. He also has less experience in this area so I hope his healhcare advisers are top notch.

Both Obama and Clinton have one interesting similarity - to ensure we all have the same choice of health plan options that members of congress receive.

In the end, if you want private healthcare with more choice but a limited tax credit, McCain may be your man.

If you want universal healthcare with the potential of tax increases but all 300 million of us covered, Clinton may be your woman.

If you want a slight mix of both (but with far more similarities to Clinton's plan), Obama may the man for you.

And that's my take on the subject!

March 14, 2008 - 1:59pm
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