Opinion Pieces Address Health Care Issues In 2008 Campaign

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Summaries of several opinion pieces that discuss health care issues in the 2008 presidential election appear below.

  • Anne Kinzel, Des Moines Register:A number of presidential candidates have promoted their health careproposals to Iowa residents, but "are they asking us what we actuallywant or are they just giving us 10-second sound bites to what is a65-year-old issue?" Kinzel, an honorary board member of CodeBlueNow!, writes in a Registeropinion piece. Kinzel writes, "Until we the people get involved,nothing will change, no matter what the candidates say" about healthcare, adding, "We are not as divided as our political parties wouldhave us think." Kinzel concludes, "It's time to couple the ingenuity ofAmericans with the knowledge of health professionals because togetherwe can solve our problems and tell the candidates what they need to do-- for us" (Kinzel, Des Moines Register, 10/22).
  • Erin Neff, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton(D-N.Y.) has described "voter concern about health care" as "standingon a trap door that could easily drop them into financial insecurity orbankruptcy at the whims of a health insurance company," and she also"knows first-hand just how quickly that door could open under her owncampaign," columnist Neff writes in a Review-Journalopinion piece. According to Neff, "Clinton is at her strongestdiscussing the need for health care reform, in part because of her pastbattles," but, "just like all those Americans worrying about risingcosts or losing coverage, Clinton's general election hopes may verywell be standing on a health care trap door" (Neff, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/23).
  • Maggie Gallagher, New York Post:The "question people really want" answered before "judging whethernationalized health care beats the U.S. health care system" is underwhich system "are you more likely to get the health care needed toprevent and treat chronic or life-threatening illnesses?" Gallagher, anationally syndicated columnist, writes in a Post opinion piece. She writes, "It's somewhat better to be sick in the United States than in Canada" because U.S. residents are "morelikely to get preventive health care treatment for serious or chronichealth conditions" than Canadian residents, who also "have far lessaccess to sophisticated medical screening technologies." Gallagherwrites, "I don't know why Canadians tolerate a system where sick peopleare routinely denied quick access to care that they need," adding, "Isthat really where Hillary wants us to go?" (Gallagher, New York Post, 10/25).
  • John Goodman, Raleigh News & Observer:The U.S. health care system has "three fundamental problems" -- cost,quality and access -- and the health care proposals of the three majorDemocratic presidential candidates "would be costly and burdensome --in the very act of not solving any problems," Goodman, president of theNational Center for Policy Analysis, writes in a News & Observeropinion piece. According to Goodman, the proposals would "requireeveryone to buy insurance, or require employers to provide it, create aMedicare plan for non-seniors, allow individuals to participate in thefederal employees' health system and impose new regulations and lotsmore bureaucracy" (Goodman, Raleigh News & Observer, 10/23).
  • Marsha Mercer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Most presidential candidates "skate around Medicare and Social Security," but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "is unafraid to touch" an issue "most lawmakers won't," Mercer -- Washington, D.C., bureau chief of Media General News Service -- writes in a Post-Intelligenceropinion piece. According to Mercer, McCain has said that the "big cloudover boomer retirees and their children isn't Social Security -- it'sMedicare" because "Social Security isn't projected to go belly up untilthe distant 2041," and Medicare will become insolvent by 2019. Mercerconcludes that Medicare and Social Security "are tough issues" and thatMcCain has offered "straight talk" on those concerns (Mercer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/23).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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