Monday, November 3, 2008

McCain's health care reform is not reform at all

The other day, this article ran in the Washington Post:

How They Would Change Health Care: McCain

This is an excellent, informative, and well-researched article that demonstrates the shortcomings of McCain's health care reform — the biggest problem being that it's not really reform at all.

The article talks about how McCain has acknowledged that his plan does absolutely nothing for people like us — diabetics and others with pre-existing conditions. His answer? State health care programs should provide care for them.

The article then goes on to show why this is not a good idea. First of all, these state health care programs — set up specifically to insure those the free-market insurance companies won't take — are losing money hand over fist. Turns out it's really expensive to insure just the people who require a lot of prescriptions and doctor's visits. But rather than requiring insurance companies to absorb them into the general population, which they make enough money off of to cover the costs of the "uninsurable" several times over, McCain wants the state governments to continue taking care of it.

Aren't Republicans supposed to be fiscally conservative??!

The article also points out that these programs are not working. They cost so much to maintain that some states are unable to take on any more members:

California's high-risk pool is so strapped that it put a limit on enrollment this year and lowered the maximum it would spend on anyone's treatment. Tennessee's pool has had to eliminate low-income subsidies for new members. Florida's pool has not let in anyone since 1991.

If these programs are already not making it, how are they supposed to be responsible for all of the nation's uninsurable?

Finally, the article points out how dissatisfied people are with these programs. They are expensive and they don't necessarily provide the same quality of health care as people with group plans or individual plans. Isn't the idea of health care reform to fix flaws like this in the system?

In contrast, Obama's health care reform is real reform. He would ensure that everyone had access to decent health care by making it harder (and more distasteful) for employers to skimp on health care, as well as by creating a fall-back plan for those who couldn't get health insurance from their employers.

Obama said in one of the debates that he believed access to health care was a right, not just a responsibility. I think we need someone in office with that attitude, which is why I am voting for change this election — and I hope you will too!

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