Election 2008

These articles highlight many of the health care related stories surrounding the 2008 Elections.

Election News

Posted on September 5, 2008
An interview with PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow Dr. Don McCanne on McCain and Obama's health care proposals.
Dr. McCanne served as PNHP President in 2003-2004 and writes a daily health policy "quote of the day" for single payer advocates.

Posted on July 23, 2008
Unhealthy Reporting
On The Media
In a series of blog posts for the Columbia Journalism Review, CJR Contributing Editor Trudy Lieberman takes the press to task for its under-coverage of both candidates' proposals for health insurance reform. And she explains why Obama's plan is neither 'national' nor 'universal.'

Posted on July 9, 2008
Dr. Quentin Young with Sen. Barack Obama
PNHP National Coordinator Dr. Quentin Young with Sen. Barack Obama at Dr. Young's 80th birthday party in 2003.

Posted on June 6, 2008
2008 Presidential Candidate Health Care Proposals: McCain and Obama
This side-by-side comparison of the candidates’ positions on health care was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation with the assistance of Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. and is based on information appearing on the candidates’ websites as supplemented by information from...

Posted on June 4, 2008
Barack Obama on single payer in 2003

Posted on June 2, 2008
Empty promises on health care
By Marie Cocco | Indy Star
Neither presumptive Republican nominee John McCain nor Democrat Barack Obama, the likely nominee of his party, has pledged to cover all of the 47 million uninsured Americans who are falling through the cracks of a system that already is at a breaking point. Neither has proposed a health-insurance plan that would make health care more fair and equitable by putting everyone in a pool in which risks are shared among those who are healthy (but might one day get sick) and those who are not. This is how insurance -- whether it be government insurance, such as Social Security, or private insurance, such as the policies we buy for automobiles -- works. With everyone in the same system, everyone shares the burden of paying as well as the benefit of coverage when it is needed.

Posted on May 8, 2008
Video: Who will fix America's broken health care system?
The Real News Network
[Right wing] author Regina Herzlinger and PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow Don McCanne each take a look at how effective the proposals will be in increasing quality of health care and the number of insured.

Posted on April 30, 2008
The Folly of McCain-Care
By Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic
A big problem with [McCain's] scheme, as critics like me pointed out, was that it wouldn't do much for people who were already sick. Insurance companies generally won't offer coverage directly to people with "pre-existing conditions," since they represent such bad financial risks. (It turns out people with medical problems need medical care!) So buying insurance on their own really isn't an option.

Posted on April 29, 2008
Side-by-Side Comparison of the Candidates' Positions on Health Care
Kaiser Family Foundation
This side-by-side comparison of the candidates' positions on health care was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation with the assistance of Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. and is based on information appearing on the candidates' websites as supplemented by information from candidate speeches, the campaign debates and news reports.

Posted on April 24, 2008
Health Reform You Shouldn't Believe In
Marcia Angell | The American Prospect
For all their promise of change, Democrats are remarkably timid about changing the health-care system. The system now costs twice as much per person as those of other advanced countries and delivers worse average outcomes. It prices tens of millions of people out of health coverage altogether and limits care for countless others. Yet leading Democrats are clinging to this system, proposing to cover more people but not changing the system itself except at the margins.

To view more Elections News, you can view articles by date.

Articles by PNHP'ers

Obama's Health Plan, Dissected
Rachel Nardin | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
Barack Obama proposes to make health care affordable for all Americans with an injection of cash from the repeal of the Bush tax cuts and with savings realized from electronic health information technology and programs to improve disease prevention and chronic disease management. While better record-keeping and prevention and management programs would improve the quality of our medical system, there is little data that they would actually save money. They certainly would not do so for many years.

Politicians limited in health debate
Dr. Bill Davidson Jr. | North Annville | Lebanon Daily News
With health care the leading domestic issue facing our country today, one would have expected the leading presidential candidates to have presented the nation with serious, viable solutions. Unfortunately, none has been willing to look at this issue without the lens of party ideology or special-interest politics, and as a result the American people are unlikely to see any relief from soaring health-care costs, a million annual bankruptcies, 47 million uninsured and less-than-anticipated medical-quality outcomes.

The Discredited Magic of Competition in Private Health Insurance Markets
By Don McCanne, MD | PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow
Those of us who contend that private insurance is an obsolete method of financing health care are not the least surprised by AHIP's statement that "many companies accepted applications for insurance that they should have refused as bad risks." AHIP's contemporary position is that private insurers should not cover individuals with significant health care needs because that drives premiums so high that they are priced out of the market. Instead they support taxpayer-funded programs to pay for the 80 percent of health care used by the 20 percent of people who have higher health care needs.

An Evangelical from a Conservative Background, Dr. Rocky White is Not Your Typical Advocate for Single-Payer Healthcare
Democracy Now | NPR
While there are differences between the healthcare plans offered by Democratic presidential opponents Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, neither of them is proposing a single-payer system of national healthcare. That's despite the endorsement of precisely such a plan last December by the American College of Physicians, the largest medical specialty organization. We speak with Dr. Rocky White, a passionate, if unusual, advocate for a single-payer health insurance program. He describes himself as an evangelical from a conservative background and is on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Health Care for All Colorado.

"Sick Around the World"
Washington Post reporter T. R. Reid takes a look at the health care systems of the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland, and shows how each has settled on different models that are simpler, fairer, cheaper, and include everyone. He contrasts these nations with the United States which is "unlike every other country because it maintains so many separate systems for separate classes of people."

Health Policy Placebos
The Democratic contenders proffer a superficially plausible reform model that has a long record of failure. Their proposals trace back to Nixon's 1971 employer mandate scheme, concocted to woo moderate Republicans away from Ted Kennedy's single-payer plan. Like mandate reforms subsequently passed (and failed) in Massachusetts (1988), Oregon (1989) and Washington (1993), Clinton's and Obama's plans would couple subsidies for the poor with a requirement that large employers foot part of the bill for employee coverage.

Missing the Boat on Health Care?
John P. Geyman, MD | Tikkun
As we face the 2008 presidential campaigns, the stakes have never been higher for health care reform. Health care is pricing itself beyond the reach of lower-income and middle-class Americans with no cost containment yet on the horizon. Seniors with Medicare are paying much more out-of-pocket for their medical care now than when Medicare was enacted in 1965.

I Am Not a Health Reform
IN 1971, President Nixon sought to forestall single-payer national health insurance by proposing an alternative. He wanted to combine a mandate, which would require that employers cover their workers, with a Medicaid-like program for poor families, which all Americans would be able to join by paying sliding-scale premiums based on their income. Nixon's plan, though never passed, refuses to stay dead. Now Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all propose Nixon-like reforms. Their plans resemble measures that were passed and then failed in several states over the past two decades.

The Mainstream Democratic Candidates' Proposals for Universal Health Care
By Len Rodberg, PhD
The mainstream Democratic candidates for President -- John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton -- have each put forward their proposals for "affordable quality health coverage for all." The three Democrats' proposals, while purporting to provide "universal health care", will not actually achieve this goal:

Obama's and Edward's Unhealthy Health Plans
by PNHP Executive Director Dr. Ida Hellander with PNHP National Coordinator Dr. Quentin Young
Obama's health plan, announced yesterday, is essentially the same as the Edwards' health plan, continuing reliance on the employer-based system of private health coverage that has failed America and brought the health system to the point of crisis.

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