Saturday, October 18, 2008

Health Care

It was reported today that Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the country just seven months 
after it launched. Gov. Linda Lingle's administration cited budget shortfalls and other available health care options for eliminating funding for the program. A state official said families were dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan. To read Fox News story click here.

Do we really want a national universal health care system? For me, I want to be able to make a decision about where I get my care and who my physician is. I just don't see how a government program will allow me to continue to control my health care.

To many Americans, health care is a very real concern. It affects their lives, as well as the lives of their families. Both candidates have proposed their plans to reform health care in the United States. In my opinion, John McCain's plan focuses more on allowing the patient to control their own health care. Barack Obama's plan focuses more on allowing government to control the patient's health care. I've laid out the information that both candidates have provided so that you can have it before you in one place.

Straight Talk on Health Care Reform
John McCain and Sarah Palin believe that we can and must provide access to health care for every American. For too long, our nation's leaders have talked about reforming health care.

John McCain's 'Call to Action' is his vision for Health Care Reform. Senator McCain believes that the key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves so that everyone can afford and acquire treatment and preventative care. Senator McCain wants to make health insurance innovative, portable and affordable by doing the following: 
  1. Reform health care making it easier for individuals and families to obtain insurance. This part of McCain's plan is to use compensation to improve the quality of health care.
  2. Reform the tax code to offer more choices beyond employer-based health insurance coverage. While individuals will still have the option of keeping employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance.
  3. Proposes making insurance more portable.
  4. Encourage and expand the benefits of health savings accounts (HSAs) for families.

A Specific Plan of Action: Ensuring Care for Higher Risk Patients

  1. McCain's plan will work for the those without group health insurance and pre-existing conditions to make sure that these people get the high-quality coverage they need.
  2. McCain's plan will work with states to establish a guaranteed access plan.
  3. McCain's plan will promote proper incentives.

A Specific Plan of Action: Lowering Health Care Costs. McCain's plan proposes a number of initiatives that can lower health care costs in the following areas:

  • Cheaper Drugs by bringing greater competition to the drug markets through safe re-importation of drugs and faster introduction of generic drugs.
  • Providing quality, cheaper care for Chronic Disease.
  • Promoting Coordinated Care.
  • Greater Access and Convenience by expanding access to health care through walk-in clinics in retail outlets.
  • Greater use of Information Technology to cut costs.
  • Reforming the payment system of Medicaid and Medicare to cut costs.
  • Promoting the availability of Smoking Cessation Programs.
  • State Flexibility by encouraging states to lower costs.
  • Tort Reform regarding medical liability of physicians and the ability of a patient to file a frivolous lawsuits.
  • Transparency making public treatment options, doctor records and making transparent medical outcomes, quality of care, costs and prices. National standards must be developed for measuring and recording treatments and outcomes.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan

Obama/Biden believe that there are two extremes offered on health care reform-government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. Since they believe that these two "extremes" are wrong, they've proposed a plan that strengthens employer coverage, makes insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference. The Obama-Biden plan will allow patients to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of insurance company bureaucrats. For those Americans who have health insurance and like it, nothing changes except costs will go down by as much as $2,500 a year. For those American who do not have health insurance, they can choose from new, affordable health insurance options.

The Obama-Biden Plan will make health insurance work 
for people and businesses - not just insurance and drug companies by:

  1. Requiring health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
  2. Creating a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide health insurance for their employees.
  3. Preventing insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.
  4. Making employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers to contribute a percentage of payroll toward cost of health insurance.
  5. Establishing a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance carriers as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress.
The Obama-Biden Plan will reduce costs and save a typical American family up to $2500 as reforms phase in:
  1. Lower drug costs by allowing importation of safe medications, by increasing the use of generic drugs and taking on drug companies that block generic drugs from the market.
  2. Require hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data.
  3. Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses.
  4. Reform the insurance market to increase competition.

Finally, the Obama-Biden Plan will require coverage of preventive services.

The majority of the information compiled in this piece was taken from John McCain's and Barack Obama's website.

To read more about the facts about the
McCain-Palin Health Care Plan visit the McCain website.

To read more about the facts about the Obama-Biden Plan visit the Obama website.

A third party assessment of both the McCain and Obama health care plans was compiled by HSI Network.


Paul said...

I've been forced to live our health care nightmare for fifteen years.

Obama's plan "allows government to control the patient's health care."

The health insurance lobby is the largest single lobbying group in Washington. They've somehow convinced the public that single payer health care would mean we'd have to burn the flag and start chanting Marxist slogans.

We've already got single payer government run programs in social security and Medicare. Some things are too important and basic to leave to those who often want to profiteer at the expense of the sick and old.

WRG said...


Contrary to what you believe, we in the rest of the Western world have both universal health care and the right to choose our doctors, hospitals, methods of treatment, etc.

As someone who has participated on several medical sites, many's the time I have heard Americans complaining that their HMO would not allow them to go to the only surgeon qualified to perform the type of surgery they required. This is not freedom of choice.

No medical system is perfect, but I feel much better knowing that when I'm sick, I can call my doctor, get an MRI, have the surgery I need and all this without having to go bankrupt. I could never move to the States because I have a pre-existing condition. I could never run my own, very successful business in the States because I am uninsurable. In the US, I could not be the productive, self-sufficient citizen that I am because I would not be able to receive the health care that I need.

There is much to be learned if you care to look beyond Fox News.

Best wishes, as always.

Mrs.Ruiz said...

Tami, I put another bumper sticker on my back car window, this one says "NOBAMA YOU CAN KEEP THE CHANGE" I was on the freeway yesterday and a man pulled up next to me and motioned me to roll my window down. He was trying to find out where I bought all my stickers from so I waved him to exit and we met up so I could tell him where to purchase them.