The candidates’ health care plans

Most polls show Americans put health care at the top of their concerns. All of the major presidential candidates have issued statements about what they would do to address these concerns, although the amount of detail each candidate offers varies quite a bit. The Kaiser Foundation has compiled a very useful side-by-side comparison of all the candidates’ positions on health care; you can read it here. These are links to what the candidates themselves (or their campaigns) have said they will do: Giuliani, Clinton, Romney, Obama, McCain, Edwards, and Huckabee.

Bob Laszewski, a keen observer of the issue, says that, on balance, the differences between the plans of the candidates from each party are relatively insignificant. The two parties, however, differ quite a bit from each other. From his analysis:

From “thirty thousand feet” all of the leading Republicans are offering much the same health care policy ideas — a more vibrant market serving a more responsible consumer who would control his health care choices in a system that doesn’t need to spend more money.

And, from that same “thirty thousand feet,” Democrats are all offering about the same thing — $100 billion+ in new annual spending to guarantee access for virtually all Americans to existing public and private health care plan options as well as some new ones created by the government.

I haven’t made up my mind yet whose ideas I most support on this issue. I have decided, though, that our current non-system is headed for an enormous crash and I want to see that crash headed off. Americans tend to postpone doing the things their individual health requires, such as exercise and diet, until they encounter a crisis; I don’t want the same thing to happen with our collective societal health.

The key thing is for all of us to think about this issue now. I hope these links will help you do that.


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