Wednesday, April 30, 2008

McCain still wants market-based health care; Post offers new candidates' comparison chart

Sen. John McCain still calls for a “market-based” reform of health care, with the greatest emphasis in his policy being to offer individuals pre-tax payments of premiums as now “enjoyed” by employers. He also wants to expand the use of pre-tax contributions to health savings or maintenance accounts. Nevertheless, these measures mainly help those with stable middle class incomes or better. His philosophy still resembles that of President Bush.

The Front Page story in the Washington Post April 30 was by Martin Shear, “McCain Offers Market-Based Health Plan,” link here.

McCain has a web page called "Health Care Plan: Call to Action" and "Restoring Control to Patients" here, with an audio file that starts with "the problem in America is not the quality of care ..." He believes Americans are practically forced to accept extra tests and treatments that they might not need or might choose on their own to live without, but are coerced into by health care practice.

The latest chart comparing the three candidates’ health care proposals is here.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson has pointed out (to Bill Moyers on PBS May 2 2008) that Mrs. Edwards 's making a public point about pre-existing conditions with respect to both her own breast cancer treatments and Sen. McCain's melanoma, forced Sen. McCain to take pre-existing conditions into consideration and has changed the debate with respect to this. Link.

Barack Obama would expand Medicaid and SCHIP. But that could eventually encourage some states to go after some adult children under their filial responsibility laws for eldercare. Obama still requires all children to have health insurance, but Hillary Clinton wants to make health insurance mandatory for everyone, with a combination of measures somewhat similar to those enacted or proposed in many states (MA, CA).

The Post also provided an AP story by Kevin Freking, “Health savings accounts growing in popularity.” Now, more that six million people are enrolled in plans that allow them to participate in health savings accounts. Link is here.

Update: May 1 Is Hillary more likely to win in November?

Karl Rove, the former "Bush's Brain" has published analysis claiming that John McCain would be more likely to beat Barack Obama in the November general election that Hillary Clinton. It is as if super-delegates had better take heed. The story by Joseph Curl appeared on p A4 of The Washington Times and the link is here.

Update: May 4

Check Reed Abelson, Milt Freudenheim, "Even the Insured Feel Strain of Health Costs," The New York Times, front page, Sunday, link here. Because of high deductibles and copays, people put of doctors' visits, even for their kids.

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