Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Status Quo

I posted earlier about John Edwards' plan for revamping heath care if he were to win in 2008. Many thought that as it stands it wouldn't fly because of certain provisions that would require everyone to go for preventative heath care visits, you know that "nanny state" thing. But at least he has a plan. Along those lines the AP has gathered the current thoughts for our heath care from all the major candidates and below I listed what the Republicans have in mind.
- Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback: "Market-based solutions, not government-run health care."

- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Income tax deduction of $7,500 per taxpayer to defray insurance costs. Tax credit for poorer workers to supplement Medicaid and employer contributions, as part of "market-driven" expansion of affordable coverage. Expanded use of health savings accounts.

- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: Favors market solutions, state innovation. "We don't need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funding through ever-higher taxes." Spend more on prevention and research.

- California Rep. Duncan Hunter: Supported expansion of health insurance through tax breaks, not government-sponsored universal coverage.

- Arizona Sen. John McCain: Has a record of promoting prescription drug coverage for older people and expanded insurance for children, but not universal coverage.

- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: Incentives for states to expand affordable coverage. As governor, he signed health care law aimed at ensuring universal coverage through a mix of subsidies, sliding scale premiums and penalties for those who do not get insurance.

- Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: Market reforms instead of more federal spending to expand health coverage.

- Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson: "Market-driven" expansion of affordable coverage.
Looking through these "plans" one thing comes to mind. Apparently the GOP doesn't believe there is a problem as the buzz words "Market-driven" and "tax incentives" are very prevalent which if I am not mistaken is what we already have. So it seems that the status quo is about all they are willing to offer.

Now don't get me wrong, I realize there is no magic bullet and any real plan will cost money we as a country would have a hard time coming up with considering the half Trillion we have laid out in Iraq. But can we continue with the often double digit year over year increases in medical costs and not do anything? The free market solution isn't working despite what those in the GOP would like us to believe, so why should we think that it will in the future?

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