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2008 Candidates' Health Care Policies

   By: Frank Abbott

2008 Candidates' Health Care Policies

Frank Abbott

It's 2008 and it's an election year. This has been a crucial time for many reasons. We have our first African American running for president. We have our first woman running for president. Even the pundits are having difficulty predicting where things will lead. One of the policies that Americans of all socio-economic and racial backgrounds have their eye on is health care reform. The candidates have many different policies that they propose. Here are some of them proposals for consideration and comparison.

The Republicans

Rudy Giuliani: Former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani wants to transform the health care system utilizing a free-market system that will encourage competition between the carriers thereby reducing costs and improving quality.

Mike Huckabee: Huckabee also wants to implement a market based system. He also wants resources allocated to preventive care and chronic disease management programs. Additionally, he would like the expansion of Health Savings accounts.

John McCain: McCain wants to provide access to affordable health care for everyone although he's careful not to mention that it is a universal plan. He wants insurance that is diverse to meet the needs of the individual and also promote personal responsibility.

Ron Paul: Paul also supports a free-market based system for the insurance system. This is his only proposal and also mentions that he opposes raising taxes to make health care more affordable.

Mitt Romney: Romney wants to provide access to quality health insurance for every American. He also wants to slow down the rate of inflation in regards to health care spending. He would expand and deregulate the private insurance market and wants to promote state based innovation.

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton: Clinton wants to implement an affordable, high-quality universal health care system. She says this can be done through savings from quality and modernization initiatives. She also addresses the nursing shortage by proposing federal funding for new training and mentoring of nursing programs.

John Edwards: Edwards is also proposing a universal health care plan with a mix of private and expanded public insurance. Employers would be required to provide coverage for all employees by 2012. He wants to expand Medicaid and SCHIP to provide coverage for all of the nation's poorest adults and children. The plan would be funded by rolling back tax cuts for those earning more than $200,000 per year.

Dennis Kucinich: Kucinich plans to incorporate a universal, single payer, not-for-profit health care system. Under his system, all US residents would be automatically enrolled. He would finance the program through a 1.45% to 4.75% payroll increase and 5% annual income tax increase and a repeal of the 2001 and 2002 Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

Barack Obama: Obama proposes also an affordable, high-quality universal coverage plan through a mix of private and expanded public insurance. He would require that all children have health insurance. He wants to expand Medicaid and SCHIP and wants to create a new national public plan that would allow small businesses and individuals without access could afford the coverage. The plan would be financed through savings within the health care system.

The most remarkable difference between the Republican and Democratic candidates is their differing view on whether or not to have a universal health care system. All of the Democratic candidates want to implement universal health care in one form or another and the Republicans want everyone to have access to health care coverage but through a market based system. Regardless of the outcome, our nation's health care program is in crisis and hopefully our new President will have the correct vision and follow-through to make the necessary changes our nation needs.

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