Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Political Corner - Health Care

Today’s topic – health care
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:


McCain

Obama

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

The plan

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.

Other proposals

· 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.”
Barack Obama

“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.”
John McCain

Sources:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93445861
http://www.health08.org/candidates/mccain.cfm
http://pewforum.org/religion08/compare.php?Issue=Health_Care
http://obama.senate.gov/issues/health_care/
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/wire/chi-ap-cvn-obama-text,0,4801705.story?page=3

5 comments:

Rach said...

Kylie and Landon, I am so glad that you too are doing this, sometimes it is hard to understand who is where on important issues.

Roger and Laurene said...

Why do you think McCain's plan will discourage employers from offering health insurance? Does his plan assess a tax on the employer or the employee?

Landon and Kylie said...

Mom,

By McCain's own admission, once this benefit is taxed and the stipend is offered, it will be a much less attractive benefit. Some people may even want to choose their own insurance, rather than receive it as an employee benefit. This means that employers will be less inclined to offer it, since it is less likely to bring top people to their company. This may or may not be a bad thing, I'm not sure.

Chelsi and Trevor said...

Kylie - I really like your chart. I think about health care A LOT since it is such a major role in our lives right now. I have to admit that I am not particularly crazy about either canidate...though I am intrigued by McCain's VP choice...what are your thoughts?

abby said...

Thanks for the info, I am really curious about your opinion. We definitely need to talk about this some more. Also, could you do a little research on education? Thanks for being the one to do all the impartial research while the rest of us form our opinions.