Three Different Approaches to Curing America’s Health Care Ills
As November quickly approaches, each of the 3 Presidential hopefuls is proposing reforms for the health care industry at a time when the industry needs it most. Every citizen in the United States, and especially the 45 million uninsured and underinsured among us, need to be informed about what health care changes the candidates plan to implement. Perhaps the most conservative with regard to health care reforms is John McCain. Senator Hillary Clinton’s approach represents the most aggressive reform of the health care system while Barack Obama rides somewhere between the super conservative and the super liberal. Watch out, because the health care race is heating up!
Health Care Reform Under John McCain
McCain’s comprehensive vision for the health care industry is composed of several modest, yet obvious changes that could add up to some meaningful reforms if he is elected. He believes that power should be given directly to the health care consumers and patients in order to lower costs and make medical insurance available to everyone.
More specifically, McCain wants to give people access to money to purchase health insurance. In order to do this, he is proposing a Tax Code that allows individuals and families to receive up to $5,000 in cash to purchase health insurance. In addition to this, he intends to make sure that the uninsurable (those with pre-existing conditions) are lawfully able to buy insurance. He also plans to work with the entire health care industry to cut the costs of prescription drugs, preventative care, etc.
How will he pay for this? One way is through the establishment of non-profit organizations that will take on those people denied by corporate insurers.
Health Care Reform Under Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Clinton however, proposes a much more aggressive plan to “fix” the health care industry. She wants those without medical insurance to be insured through FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan), or another similar government based insurance plan that is used by members of congress and federal employees. These programs have been able to control premium costs over the years. Outrageous? Brilliant? Whatever your opinion, Senator Clinton believes her propositions are the “fix” that the country is looking for.
Hillary wants those with health insurance to be able to take it with them forever, even if you change jobs or experience any life-changing events. She also plans to “rein in” insurance companies to keep them from dropping those that need coverage the most.
One of the most important things to note about Hillary’s plans for health care reform is that, for the most part, it doesn’t call for an increase in taxes to cover the costs of trying to reform the health care system. Her reforms revolve around changing the way health care works rather than funding health care with taxpayer money.
The Middle Road: Barack Obama and Health Care Reform
Barack Obama is also proposing that all Americans be given access to the health care plans provided to the members of Congress, but he isn’t relying solely on that idea. In fact, Obama may have the most comprehensive health care plan of all. He wants modest change in order to facilitate larger and more radical reforms.
Simple changes like reducing and simplifying the paperwork Obama says can change the health care system and reduce the cost of insurance. But at the same time, he is proposing radical changes like a National Health Insurance Exchange that acts as a watchdog group for private insurance companies. Essentially, his plan covers many things the conservatives believe that we need and the aggressive changes that the liberals are lobbying for.
What will Americans choose? Each presidential candidate’s health care reform proposal has the power to alienate or attract voters in November.