February 13, 2007

Better Know a Candidate - Health Care

Joe Biden - doesn't come out for universal health care per se. The closest I see is a "uniform, efficient system to submit claims." (??) Seems to be leaving it up to the states. No plan on how to insure all Americans.

Joe Biden believes that to protect jobs, compete in a global economy and strengthen families we have to have to address out-dated health care system. The next president will have to deal with two challenges: containing the growing costs of health care and providing access to the 47 million Americans who don't have health insurance.

Joe Biden believes we need to take three steps to contain the cost of health care: modernize the system, simplify the system and reduce errors. He supports the transition to secure electronic records so that people can provide their doctors and nurses with vital medical information in real time. He believes there should be a uniform, efficient system to submit claims.

Joe Biden believes the path toward a 21st century health care system starts with the most vulnerable in our society. He would expand health insurance for children and relieve families and businesses of the burden of expensive catastrophic cases. He supports states that are pursuing innovative alternatives to make sure that everyone has access to health care and believes we should use data from these states to evaluate what works best in providing affordable access to health care for all.
Hillary Clinton - No "Issues" page on web site. (Almost forgiven since this is an "exploratory" committee web site, but she says she's "in it to win it" so she sounds an awful lot like a "declared" candidate to me - I'd like to see an Issues page, please)

Chris Dodd - Long post on Health Care. Talks about taking care of the "most vulnerable," prescription drugs, technology, but no mention of universal health care or an actual plan on how to insure all Americans.

John Edwards - Moves us closer to universal health care, but is not yet single payer. Here is a link to his health plan (pdf) Highlights:
The Edwards Plan achieves universal coverage by:
  • Requiring businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.
  • Making insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.
  • Creating regional "Health Markets" to let every American share the bargaining power to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.
  • Once these steps have been taken, requiring all American residents to get insurance.
    Mike Gravel - Comes straight out for universal, single-payer.
    Medicine and medical technology in the United States is the finest in the world. However, it is also one of the leading causes of bankruptcies. With the rising cost of healthcare, it is time to rethink our approach. The solution to the healthcare crisis is a national, universal single-payer not-for-profit U.S. healthcare system.
    Dennis Kucinich - Comes straight out for universal, single-payer.
    We must establish streamlined national health insurance, "Enhanced Medicare for Everyone." It would be publicly financed health care, privately delivered, and will put patients and doctors back in control of the system. Coverage will be more complete than private insurance plans; encourage prevention; and include prescription drugs, dental care, mental health care, and alternative and complementary medicine.
    Barack Obama - No mention of universal health care or single-payer. Talks about AIDS, information technology, Healthy Communities, hospital report cards, genetic medicine, and lead poisoning. No plan for how to insure all Americans.

    Bill Richardson - I'd like to see more specifics, ie, what was done in NM and how that can translate to the rest of the country. Wants all Americans covered, but doesn't say how. No mention of single-payer.
    We must work to provide health insurance and access to quality, affordable health care, for all Americans and frankly we'd save a lot of money by doing it. We're spending hundreds of billions of dollars every year paying the costs of health care for the uninsured. In New Mexico, a poor state, we have faced huge health care challenges. However, we've extended health insurance to tens of thousands of New Mexicans -- kids, working families, and small businesses -- and we're working on a plan to cover every person. The bottom line is that people must have good coverage that works.
    Tom Vilsack - No "Issues" page on web site. (For a "declared" candidate, I find this unacceptable.)

    1 comment:

    Desert Beacon said...

    Very useful summary, thank you.