Although Landon and I are very blessed to have good insurance benefits from my work, I know many people (my sister and some close friends included) who do not have this security. In past years, I have been oblivious to the ins and outs of the health care world. This year, however, with my work inside the marketing of UnitedHealthcare, along with some long conversations with my sister, I am very interested in the candidates’ views on health care. As always, below is what I hope is a fair assessment:
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Who should be covered?
Everyone; no mandates
Everyone; mandated for children
Who should pay for it?
The private sector
American citizens, subsidized by government programs
Assess a tax on insurance benefits. Everyone then receives a stipend ($2,500 for individuals, $5,000 for families) to cover the cost of either the taxes or to purchase private insurance.
Create a new, affordable federally sponsored plan (similar to Medicare), subsidized by taxes. Employers who elect to offer coverage as a benefit are also eligible for government help.
· Ease restrictions on drug imports to make them more affordable.
· Higher Medicare premiums for wealthy seniors.
· Strengthen Medicaid and Medicare.
· Increase funding for genetic testing, while protecting privacy.
The candidates appear to violently disagree on how the nation should go about solving our insurance problems. The one thing everyone can agree on is that the problems exist. McCain’s plan would more than likely discourage offering health insurance as an employment benefit. Obama’s plan would increase taxes to pay for millions to have government-subsidized insurance.
In their own words:
“Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.”
“All Americans deserve the opportunity to obtain health care coverage of their choice. I hope that we will never see the day in which the government tells us which health care plan we may enroll in or who will provide the care. To socialize our health care system…will be to ruin it.”