As the Democratic primary race heats up one issue seems to be coming to forefront – Who of the candidates would do more to provide health coverage for the uninsured? Clinton and Obama have been engaged in aggressive arguments about the merits of their respective plans. Edwards, who released his healthcare plan has now entered the fray. But beyond the rhetoric which candidate has the better healthcare plan for the US?
All three of the major players – Clinton, Edwards and Obama – in the race for the Democratic nomination have sweeping plans for healthcare reform. All three candidates have based their proposed reforms on universal health insurance coverage for Americans. The primary difference between the plans is that both Clinton and Edwards intend to mandate by law that every American purchase and maintain health insurance policies, while Obama would only mandate that children must be covered by law.
The other key elements of their respective healthcare plans are quite similar. Each includes government subsidies to help lower-income and even middle-income families pay health insurance premiums, and various proposals to cut the cost of health care. All three candidates say they intend to pay for their healthcare plans by rolling back President Bush’s tax cuts for upper-income earners and by creating costs savings in health spending through various measures.
That’s right, all three plans are based on universal health insurance coverage, not on some form of government healthcare infrastructure. So be assured that great pains will be taken to ensure that the $500 billion per year health insurance industry gets their share of the candidates’ proposed $100+ billion per year plans.
So it appears that the major difference between the candidates’ plans, and the cause of the increasingly vicious argument between Clinton and Obama that Edwards is now weighing in on, is the fact that Obama does not wish to mandate via federal law that every American purchase health insurance. Obama only wants the government to force the US people to purchase health insurance for their children.
I don’t think we should start by giving up on 15 million Americans. That’s why my health care plan covers everyone.
— Sen. Hillary Clinton
And who are these 15 million Americans? These are the estimated 15 million Americans who would voluntarily choose not to purchase health insurance even though they could do so. Both Hillary and Edwards have a severe problem with the idea that American’s might exercise their right to choose not to insure themselves.
At what point did Americans lose the right of self determination? Is the US at the point where The People are willing to be forced to do something that may be in their own best interests, but is assuredly in the best interests of the healthcare industry?