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Tag: 2008 Election

Forcing the candidates to get real on health care change

Let’s pretend that either Senator Obama or Senator McCain will be able to implement their respective health care reform plans if elected. This exercise should be easy. We’ve been doing it for months now.

Or, we can get real and expect them to do the same.

For all the arguments both candidates are making that they are change agents, including over their competing health care reform proposals, this dirty little secret remains –– neither Senator’s health care plan has a chance of being implemented.

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Remember pensions? The big differences between Obama & McCain’s health care plans

This election is different than any other on the issue of health care because both candidates are giving us serious blueprints to reorganize America’s health care system and those blueprints are very very different.

As voters, you have a huge and critically important choice on health care.

There are dozens of details upon which they differ and for those I would point you to my comprehensive posts on the McCain Health Care Plan and the Obama Health Care Plan.

But to understand their big idea differences, I would point you to our pension system to better understand where McCain and Obama are going on health care. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was common for workers to have what is called a defined benefit pension plan.The worker got a promise from the employer that when retirement came he’d get a certain monthly benefit — often about 60 percent of his final average earnings. That might be $2,000 a month — every month for the rest of his life. Therefore, a defined benefit.

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Palin’s health care sense on target

Alaska’s Sarah Palin, who is running for vice president with Sen. John McCain, has better health care policy sense than Sen. Barack Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden.

Palin has pushed for less regulation of health care providers and more competition, while Obama and Biden are pushing for socialized medicine and ultimately a single-payer plan patterned after the failed systems in Canada and the U.K.

Her approach, which is described here by the Washington Post, is supported by many physicians and advocates of a pro-competition approach to health care and health insurance market reforms, and it will be opposed by executives and employees of entrenched hospitals and local health care monopolies and ologopolies who don’t want to lose business to independent clinics and specialty hospitals.

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Sarah Palin’s limited health care record staunchly free market

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has very little
on her health care policy resume from her short time in office as
Alaska’s Governor but what she does have fits right in with Senator
McCain’s strategy to use the market more effectively in bringing down
America’s health care costs and improving access to the system.

Her health care efforts have focused on two things in Alaska:

  • Eliminating the 1970s era strategy of requiring providers to
    file Certificate of Need (CON) applications before being able to build
    more health care facilities.
  • Providing consumers with more information.

Continue reading "Sarah Palin’s limited health care record staunchly free market."

Where does Sarah Palin stand on children’s health coverage?

The entire country now has heard about how Sarah Palin and her
husband knew in advance that their son, Trig Palin, would be born with
Down Syndrome. The Palins also must have known that they would have
health insurance and the financial resources needed to pay for the
extensive medical care Trig is likely to need throughout his life.

Here is 3-year old Emily Demko, another child with Down Syndrome, who lives with her
family in Ohio. The family has given permission to share this photo of their beautiful daughter and the story (details here) of their trials securing health coverage for Emily. As of this spring, Emily was uninsured. Due to her Down Syndrome,
the family could not find a private insurer willing to offer them
affordable coverage for Emily. If the Bush Administration had not shut
down Ohio’s efforts to expand its State Children’s Health Insurance
Program (SCHIP), Emily would have been able to continue to secure
decent, affordable public coverage. But the Bush Administration in
August of 2007 issued a controversial ban on coverage of children in moderate-income families and twice vetoed bills to reauthorize and expand the SCHIP program.

Continue reading "Where does Sarah Palin stand on children’s health coverage?

Emily’s mom responds to comments

I would like to introduce myself as the mother of the child portrayed in the story above. I can assure you, it is NOT a B.S. story, and our income is several thousand less than $75k per year. As a matter of fact, we were less than $200 away from Medicaid eligability! I live in southeast Ohio, where the median income is less than $42K per year. Also, my daughter has no option of private health care, since she has a genetic condition. The group plan I was part of when she was born did not want to continue full coverage on her because the medical bills were so extensive. we ARE a working class income family, we both work hard to provide, yet we have NO ACCESS to health care for our daughter. Her medical bills would astound you, sir. I pay what I can every month, and pray that I can continue giving her the best medical care I can. I am sure that Gov Palin will never see a $100 bill for 20 min of speech therapy, or a $22,000 bill for a 6 day hospital stay. Neither will her grandchild. They will always be covered, and we as taxpayers would foot that bill if she were to be elected. How is that not an upeer middle class person bilking the federal government?

Sarah Palin’s limited health care record staunchly free market

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has very little on her health care
policy resume from her short time in office as Alaska’s Governor but what she does have fits right in with Senator McCain’s strategy to use the market more effectively in bringing down America’s health care costs and improving access to the system.Palin

Her health care efforts have focused on two things in Alaska:

  • Eliminating the 1970s era strategy of requiring providers to file Certificate of Need (CON) applications before being able to build more health care facilities.
  • Providing consumers with more information.

Continue reading…

Where does Sarah Palin stand on children’s health coverage?

The entire country now has heard about how Sarah Palin and her husband knew in advance that their son, Trig Palin, would be born with Down Syndrome. The Palins also must have known that they would have health insurance and the financial resources needed to pay for the extensive medical care Trig is likely to need throughout his life.

Here is 3-year old Emily Demko, another child with Down Syndrome, who lives with her
family in Ohio. The family has given permission to share this photo of their beautiful daughter and the story (details here) of their trials securing health coverage for Emily.

As of this spring, Emily was uninsured. Due to her Down Syndrome, the family could not find a private insurer willing to offer them affordable coverage for Emily. If the Bush Administration had not shut down Ohio’s efforts to expand its State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Emily would have been able to continue to secure decent, affordable public coverage. But the Bush Administration in August of 2007 issued a controversial ban on coverage of children in moderate-income families and twice vetoed bills to reauthorize and expand the SCHIP program.SCHIP is a popular, bi-partisan program. Sixty-eight Senators, including 18 Republicans, voted for the SCHIP reauthorization bill that President Bush vetoed (Senate vote). John McCain, however, stood with the President.So, along with knowing about Sarah Palin’s personal decision to have a child with Down Syndrome, it also would be good know if she agrees with her candidate’s decision to stand with President Bush against expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Right call or wrong call?

Jocelyn Guyer is the deputy executive director at the Center for Children and Families (CCF) and a senior researcher at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. This post represents her personal opinion not that of the Institute.

Voila! Uninsured problem solved by not counting them

John McCain’s health adviser John Goodman in the Dallas Morning News on solving the problem of the uninsured:Jcgoodman

"So I have a
solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said.
"The
next president of the United States should sign an executive order
requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any
American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau
should categorize people according to the likely source of payment
should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

Read Matthew’s comments and a great discussion on Goodman’s quote here.

Obama and Krugman — almost mirror each other

I thought Obama was fabulous last night at the convention. He’s a great speaker, but
also able to gently laugh with his audience. His introduction showed what a tough road he had. If the Republicans manage to convince the American people that a black kid with a single white parent living in middle America is an elitist son of privilege then Karl Rove is better than I thought.

He was happy to rip McCain not on personality but on the issues. I’d like to have seen a lot more from the Democrats at this convention ripping Bush and Cheney on personality, personal corruption and the issues, and I wish Kerry had done even more in 2004, but that’s water under the bridge.

But the key point is that for most Americans things aren’t going well. Paul Krugman, who’s had his differences with Obama says it well today showing just how much key Republicans are out of touch — especially on the economy and health care.

Of course all he has to do is quote Phil Gramm, who appeared in Obama’s speech, and John Goodman who didn’t but does make it into Krugman’s column today. Goodman, of course, was pilloried in THCB yesterday. But I still think it’s a triple bluff on his part.

Comparing Biden’s health reform plan to Obama’s

It’s the time in the political season to make way too much of the impact a vice president can have on the presidential contest.

So I hope you don’t mind if I extend that amusing parlor sport into the arena of health care reform and consider how how Joe Biden’s original proposal for health care reform compares to Barack Obama’s.

If nothing else, it’s a good way to parse a few of the issues likely to be magnified when Obama and McCain yammer back and forth about their health care plans in the coming weeks.

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Health reform for ordinary folks

When it comes time to vote in November, will Americans know what they’re voting for in terms of their health care futures? Will they understand what Barack Obama or John McCain’s health proposals mean for them?Politics

Over at Columbia Journalism Review, Trudy Lieberman says they won’t given the current media coverage of health reform. The journalism professor critiques the mainstream media’s coverage for basically
transcribing the candidates’ pitches, and says the blogosphere is overly wonky.

"Exactly how will all these economic and political calculations and
pronouncements affect those who struggle daily to fill their
prescriptions, find a competent doctor, or pay their medical bills?"
she asks. "These are the people whose stories the media have yet to
tell."

In a series called "Health Care on the Mississippi," Lieberman examines how the presidential candidates’ health proposals will affect ordinary folks.

In Part 1, she goes to Helena, Arkansas, a town of 6,300 along the Mississippi River to talk with the working-class residents about health care. Currently, most knew "nothing of the coming health care battle being waged in their name," she wrote.

In Part 2, Lieberman examines how Helena’s head jailer and his diabetic adult son would fair under McCain and Obama’s health plans.

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