Obama vs McCain - What Will They Do for Healthcare Reform?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cleverboy, Aug 26, 2008.

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Who's Healthcare reform policy do you prefer?

  1. I Like Obama's Healthcare Reform Policy

    16 vote(s)
    61.5%
  2. I Like McCain's Healthcare Reform Policy

    5 vote(s)
    19.2%
  3. I'm still deciding...

    5 vote(s)
    19.2%
  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #1
    New England Journal of Medicine
    The Partisan Divide — The McCain and Obama
    Plans for U.S. Health Care Reform

    Jonathan Oberlander, Ph.D.
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/8/781

    Listen to Oberlander's interview on Fresh Air:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93975730

    Talk about a huge philosophical divide. If the Democrats keep the majority, I don't see McCain's plans going anywhere, but boy, that would suck to have my healthcare taxed up front. Yikes. The amount of changes Obama's plan would require seem pretty ambitious though.

    ~ CB
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    Healthcare reform is such a giant task, I am not confident either candidate will accomplish that much...

    That said, I am not sure I understand the logic behind McCain's plan.

    It appears that he would like to dismantle employer-based healthplans in favor of plans purchased by individuals. This effectively eliminates any leverage on negotiation that a large organization (such as employers) have by virtue of their size(There are somewhere around 150 million adults covered by workplace insurance.). How individuals can negotiate a lower rate than large groups is a mystery - it runs counter to economies of scale. This dismantling, of course, is in the form of taxing employees health care premiums - which would be a strong incentive for any company to stop providing any.

    It would also appear that McCains plan would further deregulate an already pretty unregulated market. Currently, many states have regulations forcing Insurance companies to offer coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, providing inclusive benefits and modulating premiums. States vary widely, however, on their regulations - and McCain would allow people to purchase policies from other states. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out where these insurance companies will go, if this were to take effect - and where people would be forced to follow...

    There is also the cost. McCain would give tax-credits of $2500 and $5000 (single and family) to offset insurance costs. Will this cover premiums? How much would the difference be? Is it more or less than current premiums through workplace insurance? If it is more, well, then what is being accomplished?

    Feel free to dispute any of the above, I am no expert - but from what I've read, it seems that the above is likely.

    As for Obama's plan - I will deal with that in a separate post.
     
  3. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #3
    In reality both plans suck, but McCain's sucks more. Both are still relying on private, for profit, health insurance companies which are part of the problem to begin with.

    McCain's plan will centralize the entire health insurance industry in the states with the least stringent regulation (ever wonder why your credit card bills all go to South Dakota and Delaware?) and put the entire burden on the individual, which would lead to fewer insured individuals and higher premiums for those who have insurance, although after 4 years of that, we'd probably see a massive shift in support for single payer, universal healthcare. As for the $2500/$5000 credit it wouldn't even come close. We've seen what our employers pay for our insurance and it's easily 2x that amount, and how many people will see a pay bump when their employer drops insurance coverage to save money? I highly doubt the saved premiums will find their way back to the workers paychecks.

    Obama's plan should increase the coverage rate, in theory, and will at least try to make sure that all children are covered. This might lead to a decrease in medical expenses due to people seeking preventative care rather than waiting until an illness warrants an ER visit. But in leaving the for profit insurance industry alone, most of the uninsured would opt for the cheapest plan they can get which would be coupled with high deductibles and co-pays which would not necessarily help increase preventative care, although at least some of the ER visit would be paid by the insurance which should translate into (slightly) lower premiums for everyone.

    I like Obama's plan better, but McCain's would get us to true Universal Healthcare faster.
     
  4. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #4
    Whoa. McCain's healthcare reform get's us to "Universal Healthcare"? Obama hasn't ruled out a mandate that would bring us to universal coverage, but has opted in the meantime for universal access. McCain... actually doesn't support universal healthcare AT ALL.

    Maybe you're thinking about Clinton's propsal? There are substantial concerns that even matching it to the rate of inflation, McCain's "credit" would be outstripped by the rate of premium increases.

    http://cameron.blogs.foxnews.com/2007/10/31/mccain-no-to-universal-health-care/
    ~ CB
     
  5. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #5
    No, I meant what I said. Obama's plan will get more people covered and make things slightly more tolerable making the current system hang on for a longer period still holding onto the idea of private for profit heath insurance as the only form of insurance for quite awhile. Where if you take McCain's plan and dump the full expense of health insurance in the lap of the individual without any increase in pay despite their employers saving lots of money, I give it 1-2 elections before we have a president and congress pushing true single payer universal healthcare.

    Obama's plan is a bandaid. McCain's ripps off the scab and cuts it open some more to force the reform (albeit an unintended consequence) where Obama's will delay it longer by improving the current system.

    McCain's plan would cause the voters enough pain to make it a very high priority in 4-6 years.
     
  6. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #6
    Ok, that was ONE of my other guesses at what you meant. You really need to articulate that more clearly. :D You're saying McCain's plan would be so BAD and PAINFUL to the American public, that the push for Universal Healthcare would be increased to the point where it would be more likely to happen.

    If you present it like that, its easier to disagree with it directly. Simply put... McCain's plan is SO BAD that it will NEVER PASS. You might as well call it a "universal gallstone". The American public is so used to employer provided healthcare systems "untaxed", that changing that around as a "credit" would be (and is) reviled as a mere suggestion.

    So, what you end up having... is an Obama plan that has the potential to pass in pieces, and to be strengthened and expanded overtime... or a McCain plan, that... much like George Bush's privatized retirement... will be a "non-starter", and healthcare reform will once again be in limbo as it has been. This was Kennedy's contention... this from a man who's been fighting on the issue for decades.
    Or... its a place to start.
    Or it will be such a weak movement that it will be quickly forgotten as a policy initiative that solely existed so that the candidate had something to talk about on an issue (healthcare) that exists as one of the main planks in the Democratic platform.

    I admire "chess" playing, but thinking McCain's plan will do much of anything except die, seems like a bad move. Honestly, one of the reasons I liked Obama's plan, is because it seemed more likely to find bi-partisan support than Clinton's. Clinton's seemed to provide a much more diametrically opposed idea to McCain's... and I gave it the same chance of passing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kica8hmSdAM

    ~ CB
     
  7. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #7
    You really think either of them can/ will change anything? :rolleyes:
     
  8. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #8
    I don't like either of their plans, as neither of them are true attempts at universal single-payer coverage. Both of them still benefit the private profit-driven health"care" industry and don't benefit the average citizen.

    Kucinich was the only Democratic candidate that had a reasonable healthcare plan. Nader has it right, which is yet another reason I'd support him before I would Obama.
     
  9. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #9
    Mm. So, you feel Obama's comments on Single-payer amount to what? Empty rhetoric? Flip-flopping? I'm actually curious. I feel there's some clear reasoning going on there, and not simple politicking.

    http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/01/05/fact_check_obama_consistent_in.php
    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/19/obama-says-single-payer-health-care-makes-sense/
    Nader has kind of thrown everyone under the bus on the issue, but not really presented the truth clearly:
    http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Ralph_Nader_Health_Care.htm
    A rather LARGE part of the healthcare question has to do with how one would approach implementing it and getting bi-partisan support so that it actually HAPPENS. Anyone can sell a dream if you've no realistic intention behind it, further than providing a platform to draw attention to the issue (which I admit is a positive).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmtIV35gwfA

    ~ CB
     
  10. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #10
    Until he makes it the most important part of his healthcare plan, then yes, it is simply empty rhetoric to me. When he is working through the very corporations who are responsible for the poor excuse of healthcare we have in this country, it's empty rhetoric.

    I don't see how he isn't presenting the truth clearly. Obama is against single-payer universal healthcare, or at least that is what his current position on it tells me. Maybe if he would adopt his "ideal situation" position I'd think otherwise. The words "single-payer" don't appear at all on his website right now.

    If American voters weren't so incredibly stupid, it could easily be done if the Democrats framed the issue of universal single-payer healthcare as a basic human right, which it is. But American voters are stupid, and the Democratic party is just as beholden to corporate interests (including the healthcare industry) as the Republican party. We won't see any serious healthcare reform from Obama, despite his talk.
     
  11. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #11
    Well, unfortunately I tend to believe that we don't live in a perfect world. Everytime I've ever attacked a large project and tried to make sweeping change, I've never succeeded. Obama isn't against "single-payer". He doesn't think its feasible RIGHT NOW. If you're "against" something, you simply say "no", you don't say, "not at this time". McCain is AGAINST single-payer. Ideologically he feels that it represents the encroachment of big government interference in the free market. Obama's website is exactly where the link in my previous post... clarifying his position on the single-payer issue... is from.

    Here is a Google link that searches Obama's website for mentions of "single-payer":
    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=single-payer+site:barackobama.com

    On page two, you'll see this Utah group that supports Obama for his support of single-payer as an option on where our healthcare system could go:
    http://iowa.barackobama.com/page/group/HealthcareforAllwithSinglePayerIns-UT

    They further link here:
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/bobhealthcareadvocate/CnWZ

    It's ALL OVER his site. There's about 2700 mentions noted in Google.

    I don't think American voters are stupid. That's kind of a non-starter. You don't have to be stupid to be misinformed.

    Here is a Google link that only searches "www.barackobama.com" for single-payer. There are 19 separate pages discussing the topic.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...en-us&q=single-payer+site:www.barackobama.com

    ~ CB
     
  12. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #12
    I realize that McCain's plan has little chance of passing especially given a democratic congress, but I worked from the position that both plans pass as is.

    I hear a lot of people talk about health savings accounts and catastrophic insurance as a solution. Employer provided healthcare's days are numbered, U.S. companies are spending a lot of money on employee healthcare and it's making it more difficult to compete in a global economy. By the time I retire I think it will be hard to find an employer that still provides subsidized insurance, I just hope we've implemented a good solution by then.

    As I said I like Obama's plan more than McCain's.

    Unfortunately just like gas and other things if we provide a fix, the motivation to really fix it will wane for a few years until things start to get bad again. While Obama's plan is a better place to start. McCain's plan, on the big if that it could pass would get us there much faster than the evolution (or maybe it's Inteligent Design) Obama's plan puts into place.

    I've actually outlined before how I think healthcare is going to progress in this country and unfortunately I see it getting much worse before it gets better. I used to say we were about 20 years away, I think it might be more like 40, if we can keep the democrats in control for a few terms. I believe that employers will start to drop coverage, and that things will get worse as far as the insurance goes. If the democrats keep in charge we'll end up with single payer, in that taxes will subsidize private, for profit, health insurance for awhile as employers drop coverage and people can't afford it. If the GOP gets control we'll end up with more pain on the voters faster which will push the single payer universal plan into place faster.
     
  13. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #13
    I know... its an interesting perspective, but for me... its FAR too unnervingly like the P.U.M.A. perspective that because their chosen candidate wasn't elected... that they push for McCain, depend on him doing a poor job, and look for Clinton to come back in 2012. The amount of CRAP and damage that can happen won't necessarily work in the country's favor. It's something of a Pyrrhic Victory in the fullest sense of the word... even as a hypothetical projection you don't personally support... its a total wildcard.

    You look like you've got a deep view of how things will go. I'm thinking that we have no idea what the country will look like in 10 or 20 years, especially if we don't start fixing the broken things, bit by bit.

    ~ CB
     
  14. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #14
    I'm just thinking that in the past it took the Civil War to end slavery, it took the Depression to get social programs to protect us in place, it took Pearl Harbor to get us into WWII, things don't change her until it really hurts. Healthcare is going to be one of our next big challenges and much like most things where we finally make progress things will probably have to fail completely or come damn close before we really get where we need to be. Much like doing things to lower the price of gas only keep us dependent on it.

    While I'd like to find a not so painful path to healthcare but making it easier only pushes the issue back as something more dire comes to the forefront.
     
  15. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #15
    No, I don't. ...They never do.
     
  16. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    For what its worth, I totally think you'd play a mean game of SimCity Societies. I just wouldn't want to live there. :)

    ~ CB
     
  17. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #17
  18. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #18
    McCain will do nothing to reform healthcare. His plan is to manipulate tax laws to give families a $5000 tax cut to buy healthcare.
    McCain is more of the same.
     
  19. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

  20. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #20
    When I'm in charge and can do what I want I'm less apt to do the painful portion. Unfortunately the painful portion is the only way a large subset of the voting public will realize they've been voting against their own self interests.
     
  21. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #21
    Correct. They're all politicians, which means that they exist to screw normal people over. Personally I prefer McCain's plain, because I don't like the idea of moving towards a "single-payer" plan. It's to much like the plans that has been implemented across Europe, and in Canada. I personally believe that all of the cost of health care issues can be traced back to trial attorneys. They file frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals, which causes the cost of malpractice insurance to skyrocket, which causes the cost of healthcare to skyrocket, which causes the cost of health insurance to skyrocket. The solution is simple IMO, stop the trial attorneys, put a cap on the price of malpractice insurance, put a cap on the cost of health care/medications, and as a result the cost of health insurance goes down, and if it doesn't put a cap on it.

    Don
     
  22. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #22
    Great rebuttal. That's exactly what McCain's trying to combat in his plan.

    ~ CB
     
  23. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #23
    True, but I personally don't like either of their plans. What I suggested will most likely never come to fruition. They both just end up screwing us over in the end IMO. I personally think that they both would fail. I don't like Obama's plan, because what he eventually wants is a fully fledged government owned program, and in almost every implementation of this type of plan it has failed. There needs to be a happy medium, with the companies making profits, and the government making sure that they don't gouge us. Like I said get rid of the trial attorneys, and the problem is solved. Caps might not even be needed.

    Don
     
  24. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #24
    You ever read "The Appeal" by John Grisham? There's an interesting spin at the end where a judge that was against malpractice lawsuits, has his son hit in the head by a ball that that knocked him off the pitchers mound, off of a non-regulation bat. He took him to a doctor that accidentally diagnosed his condition from the wrong x-rays and later discovered his son was suffering silently from untreated cranial swelling. It was a freakish irony, where he immediately felt impotent to deal with the problem of incompetence from his doctor at an extremely crucial point that would determine his son's future. It was a good read. I'm not so sure getting rid of attorneys is so simple a solution. It's on iTunes. Good audiobook.

    ~ CB
     
  25. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #25
    Oh no! We wouldn't want a cheaper, more effective system that covers everyone. The horror! Poor people with healthcare? It's a disgusting thought.
     

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