NYT: Health Care Ranks High in Campaign Plans

By July 6, 2007Health Care

The New York Times reports — in a pretty balanced piece — that health care is emerging to be a major issue for the 2008 presidential candidates. As it should.

WASHINGTON, July 5 — There is no better measure of the power of the health care issue than this: Sixteen months before Election Day, presidential candidates in both parties are promising to overhaul the system and cover more — if not all — of the 44.8 million people without insurance.

Their approaches are very different, reflecting longstanding divisions between the parties on the role of government versus the private market in addressing the affordability and availability of health insurance. Republicans, by and large, promise to expand coverage by using a variety of tax incentives to empower consumers to buy it themselves, from private insurers. Conservatives warn, repeatedly, of Democrats edging toward the slippery slope of “government-controlled health insurance,” as former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York puts it, and promote the innovation and choice offered by private insurers.

The major Democratic candidates propose strengthening the private-employer-based system, through which most working families get their coverage. But many Democrats also see a strong role for government, including, in some plans, new requirements that individuals obtain insurance and that employers provide it, along with substantial new government spending to subsidize coverage for people who cannot afford it.

The NAM has resources available on health care policy in this section of our webpage.

And a reminder: On Monday at 4 p.m. the NAM will sponsor a panel discussion on Michael Moore’s latest pseudo-documentary, “Sicko.” Taking part are Michael Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies at the Cato Institute, and Grace Marie Turner, Founder, President and Trustee of the Galen Institute. You can RSVP for the event, here at NAM HQ, by contacting Amee Short.

BTW, one review of “Sicko” that has been gaining a lot of attention comes from Kurt Loder at MTV: “Sicko: Heavily Doctored” It’s particularly harsh, which probably surprised many people given MTV’s usual critical standards and political leanings.

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