Monday, October 6, 2008

November 4, 2008

The election on 11/4 will determine not only how we proceed in the real war on terror but how we defeat the policies that have placed this country and the world in a global economic crisis. It will determine whether or not the millions of uninsured will have a chance to obtain affordable health care or whether or not we will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy. These issues and more will be decided upon by the electorate of this country in just under 1 month.

In the time left before the election I have decided to make an effort to provide an unbiased look at the issues. There will be enough mudslinging between now and 11/4 from both sides and your vote for the next President should be based on the issues, not some political hacks idea of an attention getting headline.

Today's issue is health care.

John McCain

Encourages individual initiative and cost control.

Overall plan:

People should be able to take their insurance plan with them when they change jobs. This would remove existing income tax breaks for corporations that provide an employer sponsored health plan. His plan calls for income tax credits of $2,500 for an individual or $5,000 per family to help purchase insurance and would he would expand the use of health savings accounts. Under this plan employers will not be required to provide coverage.

Cost Control:

Under his plan malpractice reforms will be enacted to limit lawsuits and damages awarded. Competition among providers will be encouraged and his plan promotes the use of alternative providers such as a nurse practitioner. His plan all calls for providing consumers more information on treatment offers.

Cost and benefit:

His campaign has not specified an overall cost. Independent examiners estimate that his plan could reduce the number of uninsured by approximately 1 million in 2009.

Barack Obama
Supports private and public contributions to reduce the number of uninsured.

Overall Plan:
His plan will result in the creation of a government regulated clearinghouse that will provide the opportunity to purchase insurance through a new public plan or private insurers. Small business will be provided with a tax credit as an incentive to provide coverage for employees. His plan would expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Under this plan employers with a specified number of employees will be required to provide health insurance or contribute a percentage of their payroll toward the cost of the new public plan.

Cost Control:
Utilize electronic health information systems, lower prescription drug costs and improve the prevention and management of chronic conditions.

Cost and Benefit:
When fully in place the overall plan cost is estimated to be $50 to $65 billion. Independent examiners estimate that his plan could reduce the number of uninsured by approximately 18 million in 1009.

Sources: Omaha World Herald/Kaiser Family Foundation/Brookings Institution/Tax Policy Center.

For a biased view of the candidates go to

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