Republican Health Care Plans

To save myself from writing many posts (and you from reading them) I have lumped the republican presidential candidates’ health care plans into one post. I know it looks partisan – a slight to the Republicans – but if we get serious, the Republicans have slighted health care reform. There is just not that much to discuss.

For example, take a look at Huckabee’s health care plan. He states that our system is broken, that we do not need universal health care mandates, that he will allow for the public sector to innovate, and the States should act as laboratories. It’s a great opening. Now where is the plan?

McCain’s health care plan is stronger (maybe the strongest of the Republicans). The details are not there, but it seems that McCain wants to de-link health insurance from employment. I say this because he talks of portability of plans, purchasing plans nationwide, allowing families to buy insurance from any group (churches, professional associations, etc.), and he wants to change the tax code so that it does not favor employee sponsored insurance. He favors tax credits to purchase insurance instead. He also talks about risk adjustment within Medicaid. I like that he mentions risk adjustment, but it certainly is not a well developed idea. Lastly, McCain states that costs must be reigned in before any real reform can take place. I agree with him there. How exactly? McCain has ideas – some of them good – but I wouldn’t call it an integrated plan.

I searched Giuliani’s website and could not find a health care plan (it was at least not under the category “Issues”). I’m basing this critique off the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website. Giuliani wants to cover the uninsured by making it easier for them to purchase insurance. One, there will be a tax deduction for the those who buy insurance in the individual market and a tax credit for the poor. He seems to favor free market incentives. What those are seem unclear. He also seems to understand that selection issues might pose a problem, so he leaves that up to the States to figure out (he’ll provide block grants to the States so they can create innovative procedures to address adverse selection). Again, it can’t be called a plan. Giuliani has cobbled together some ideas – that’s about it.

Lastly, Romney. After he played a crucial role in creating and implementing the Massachusetts’ universal health care plan I was expecting so much, but sigh. He has nothing. Absolutely nothing. Deregulate, States take the lead, tax deductions for those without employer insurance, and medical liablity reform. Okay, something, but that is literally it. I’m disappointed.

The Republican health care plans are light except for a few good ideas from McCain. They generally believe in deregulation, a federalist approach, medical liability reform, improved medical information technology, decreased fraud, market reforms and no government mandates. Most of them don’t mention (or briefly mention) the selection issues, provider payment schemes, cost containment, or what they would do with the current public systems. Besides McCain, they give few hints that they have a grasp on health care policy. Romney’s history speaks to his understanding of health care policy, but he won’t show it for political reasons. If voting only on health care I would have to choose a Democrat.

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2 responses to “Republican Health Care Plans

  1. Insurance mandates are not universal health care. And politicians should stop calling it that. Nothing is Universal Health Care except “Single Payer Not For Profit Tax Supported Government Managed Health Care” (HR 676). Insurance mandates will be worse than what you have now. And what you have now is a complete, and total disgrace, and horror show. Insurance mandates will (require) you to buy insurance from the private insurance companies that have been ripping you off, and killing you by the thousands.

    The #1 cause of injury, disability, and DEATH in America is, Health Care. More people die now from contact with the American Medical Health Care system than from any other cause of death. More than from Cancer, Heart disease, or Stroke. More than any other country in the world. Many times more than any other people in the world. Contact with the American medical health care system is the #1 risk factor now for injury, disability, and premature DEATH in America. This fact is a catastrophic indictment of the entire US Health Care System.

    Driven by greed. And a rush to profit. Thousands of Americans are killed, and injured daily in America. By compromised health care. Cutting corners. Over, and under treatments. And poisonings with all manor of toxic, poisonous pharmaceuticals. Especially the children. America only makes up 2-4% of the world population. But Americans buy, and consume 50% of all pharmaceuticals world wide.

    This is an emergency. America is in a crisis. And more Americans have died from this health care crisis than have died in all the wars in US history.

    But the tide has turned. And the message is getting out. And taking hold about the fact that we have a very serious, and major health care crisis going on in America. Hurting everyone. Especially our precious little children. Rich, and poor alike. And most all Americans seem to understand now that “HR 676 Not For Profit Single Payer Universal National Health Care For All (Medicare For All)” is the way to go. Like all the other developed countries have done. Americans want government managed, tax payer supported health care Now. Medicare for all. Like other developed countries have. And like older Americans have now. Accept no substitute.

    I am sick and tired of hearing how the candidates, and politicians health care plans are going to protect, and preserve the private for profit health insurance companies that have been killing, and ripping off the American people. And now the politicians want to mandate (require) that every American has to support the private for profit insurance company’s that have been killing, and ripping you off. Or you will be fined, and PENALIZED. Thats right. PENALIZED. Ridiculous! The politicians really think you are all detached idiots. CASH COWS! To lead to the slaughter. Don’t put up with that.

    Just look at what is already happening with Massachusetts insurance mandates. It’s a catastrophe. Financially, and medically for all the people of Massachusetts. And the private insurance companies just raised their rates by as much as 16%. And everyone has to pay now. It’s a slaughter.

    It’s NOW TIME to bring out the BIG GUNS!! The BIG GUNS!! are you. The American people. And anyone else that wants to help. From now until HR 676 is passed into law. I want every person to reach out and touch their fellow Americans every day if you can. I want you to take a phone book. And call at least one of your fellow Americans every day. And ask them to pickup the sword of HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care For All (Medicare For All).

    Call more than one each day if you can. And ask them to do the same as you are doing if they can. And also to put maximum pressure on their politicians to get HR 676 done. And to make sure their politicians support HR 676. Accept no substitute. HR 676 is a no-brainer. It’s the best way to go on health care. It’s the only moral, and ethical way to go. That is why every other developed country has done it. Most did it years ago. See sickocure.org, and http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676.htm

    I know that many of you have been doing a fabulous job of spreading the word by talking it up with family, friends, and co-workers. And putting pressure on the politicians to get HR 676 done ASAP. The phone calls to your fellow Americans will increase the pressure. And increase momentum for HR 676 at an astonishing, and exponential rate. And I know many of you have been wanting to do something more to help. The phone calls to your fellow Americans is something you can do every day to help.

    Trust me. It will be something to see. But you have to keep the focus, and pressure on getting HR 676 passed pronto. They will try to distract you. With all manor of other crises, and catastrophes. And other plans. Don’t be distracted. HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care is the #1 concern of the American people. Thousands of Americans are dieing daily now. And you or your loved ones could be next.

    There is no good reason HR 676 cannot be passed into law well before the coming elections. And SCHIP should have been passed by now. Even if it was for 3x the 35 billion congress ask for. Do not tolerate delays. If it is not passed before the coming elections. All America will know which politicians are on the side of the American people. And which are not when they vote. Well before the elections. This is supposed to be a democracy. And well over the majority of Americans want tax payer supported single payer government managed health care for free for all Americans as a right. Many of the politicians will be soliciting your financial, and political support for the coming elections. Make sure you send a note telling them that you expect them to support HR 676 if they expect you to support them.

    Everyone can do this. Most of you are well informed about HR 676. This truly is one of those no-brainers. Be considerate of your fellow Americans when you call. But be comfortable about calling. These are your fellow Americans. Some will be receptive. And some will not be. Some maybe rude, and mean. Just thank them, and move on to the next. Most will be with you. And if you get a call from one of your fellow Americans about HR 676. Let them know you are already on board. And thank them for calling. Build them up. And keep them strong. They are fighting for all of us.

    Keep fighting. Pickup that phone, and call your fellow Americans. It’s the right thing to do. You will win. Bless you all…

  2. Wow, that is some comment. A lot of numbers were thrown out there. I would love to see where they come from especially the medical system causing more deaths than cancer. And what study are you quoting regarding the Massachusetts plan? As far as a single payer system goes…it has a lot of upsides (I wrote a paper promoting it in the “Paper” section of this site), but it also has its inefficiencies and trade-offs. All reforms do and to present a plan without the trade-offs is deceiving.

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