The GOP Candidates on Health Care

Greenbeard

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Last week Kaiser Health News launched a feature consolidating some of the health care positions of the leading presidential candidates: "GOP Presidential Hopefuls: Where They Stand On Health Care." They're sorted by issue--apparently with more to be added in the future--and right now those issues are Medicare & Aging, Marketplace, Health Reform Philosophy, and Medicaid.

The declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have already been campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. They've held several debates and competed in the Iowa straw poll. But they're still developing their platform positions and honing their stump speeches.

KHN has assembled this chart to show where five of the candidates currently stand on major health care issues. The candidates are Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Rick Perry, both from Texas and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. We will be adding issues - and candidates - in the days ahead.
Handy resource.

On a related note, the NYT had an article yesterday examining the records of Romney, Perry, and Huntsman on health care, mostly on coverage.

Romney:
For the 10 percent of residents who had been uninsured, the commonwealth’s coverage mandate, coupled with government subsidies for the poor, has proved a striking success. A study last year concluded that 98.1 percent of residents, and 99.8 percent of children, had health insurance, leading the country. The state also found, to the surprise of some, that the share of employers contributing to their workers’ coverage (rather than accepting a modest penalty for not doing so) had risen.
Huntsman:
In 2007, he hired John T. Nielsen, a former hospital system lawyer, to investigate whether “we could replicate what Massachusetts had done,” Mr. Nielsen said. He also lent his aides to a high-powered working group convened by the United Way of Salt Lake that ultimately devised a plan that relied on an exchange and an individual mandate.

In at least two interviews that year, Mr. Huntsman described a mandate as necessary to achieving the kind of expansion he envisioned. “I think if you’re going to get it done and get it done right, mandate has to be part of it in some way, shape or form,” Mr. Huntsman told the public television station KUED.

But the governor’s top health advisers, including Mr. Nielsen and Dr. David N. Sundwall, his health commissioner, said Mr. Huntsman never expressed a preference for the mandate in their discussions. And once Greg Curtis, the House speaker at the time, informed Huntsman aides that the mandate would be a nonstarter in the Republican-controlled Legislature, Mr. Huntsman did not push back.

“He’s a pragmatic politician,” Mr. Sundwall said. “He said, ‘Then let’s go with what we can get.’ ”

The resulting package, enacted in 2008, featured a scaled-down exchange, available only to small businesses. It has attracted 165 employers covering 4,206 workers and dependents, one-fiftieth the number in the Massachusetts exchange.
Perry:
Mr. Perry, by contrast, eschewed direct efforts to expand coverage in Texas and cemented its status as the state with the highest rate of people without insurance.

When Mr. Perry succeeded George W. Bush in December 2000, about 22 percent of Texans had no insurance, second only to New Mexico. After Mr. Perry’s decade in office, Texas now claims the highest uninsured rate, at 26 percent, as well as other distinctions like the lowest rate of prenatal care.
 

kiwiman127

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Many economist say the US must reign in the skyrocketing cost of health care, if the costs aren't reigned in, health care costs could wreck the US economy.
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Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, making it ever-tougher for workers and employers to afford them. From 1999 through 2008, annual health insurance premiums jumped 119 percent, according to Kaiser data.
During that span, worker earnings rose only 34 percent and overall inflation was just 29 percent. So worker income has barely kept pace with inflation, more of the paycheck is going to health costs, and there's less left over for things like vacations, dining out or home improvements -- especially for low-wage workers and retirees. That represents a huge drag on the economic growth, considering that consumer spending powers about 70 percent of the economy.
Read more: How health care affects the economy
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How much does the cost of health care effect businesses? It business biggest cost accounting for 43% of all expenditures.
http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/costgrowth/
Yet politicians in Washington give real health care reform just lip service and claim the the free market it will take care of the costs. Well, it's a fact that the free market has actually let the health care industry go unchecked and it is killing our consumer driven economy and it's effecting the way businesses operate and where they operate. Why would a business want to expend in the US when the US has by far the most expensive health care costs by far?
 
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rdean

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It's not the cost of health care that's the problem. It's the amount of money insurance companies skim off their policies. How many CEO's make $100,000,000.00 by making nothing? Just acting as a "middle man"?
 

kiwiman127

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I'm surprised that there is such little interest in what many economist deem as a serious threat to our economy.
But then I'm not surprised about it that much. The health care industry has controlled the message for well over a decade, this has basically controlled the thought process of the public, to the point of being dumbed down.
 

kiwiman127

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It's not the cost of health care that's the problem. It's the amount of money insurance companies skim off their policies. How many CEO's make $100,000,000.00 by making nothing? Just acting as a "middle man"?
Which still figures intot he cost of health care in Ameica. We pay the most for care, the most for prescription drugs and the for insurance.
 
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rdean

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It's not the cost of health care that's the problem. It's the amount of money insurance companies skim off their policies. How many CEO's make $100,000,000.00 by making nothing? Just acting as a "middle man"?
Which still figures intot he cost of health care in Ameica. We pay the most for care, the most for prescription drugs and the for insurance.
Bush and the Republicans made it impossible for HMOs or cities to buy drugs in bulk. I work with a guy from India who sends off for drugs for his father. The drugs are made here. Sold here the pills cost over $20 a pill. In India, the SAME PILLS cost $20 for a months supply.

The same drugs, the same company making them.

This was only one of the mini scandals caused by Bush and the Republicans. By stopping "bulk" purchases, these companies can rake in the cash. Thanks to Republican policies.
 

Bfgrn

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I'm surprised that there is such little interest in what many economist deem as a serious threat to our economy.
But then I'm not surprised about it that much. The health care industry has controlled the message for well over a decade, this has basically controlled the thought process of the public, to the point of being dumbed down.
And Wall Street has complete control of the health care industry.

For anyone who wants the inside knowledge of this:

Profits before Patients - Wendell Potter



Following a 20-year career as a corporate public relations executive, Wendell left his position as head of communications for CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, to help socially responsible organizations — including those advocating for meaningful health care reform — achieve their goals.

In widely covered testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee in June of 2009, Wendell disclosed how insurance companies, as part of their efforts to boost profits, have engaged in practices that have resulted in millions of Americans being forced into the ranks of the uninsured. Wendell also described how the insurance industry has developed and implemented strategic communications plans, based on deceptive public relations, advertising and lobbying efforts, to defeat reform initiatives.

Since then Wendell has testified before two House committees, briefed several members of Congress and their staffs, appeared with members of Congress at several press conferences, spoken at more than 100 public forums, and has been the subject of numerous articles in the U.S. and foreign media.

At CIGNA, Wendell served in a variety of positions over 15 years, most recently as head of corporate communications and chief corporate spokesperson. Prior to joining CIGNA, Wendell headed communications at Humana Inc., another large for-profit health insurer. Before that he was director of public relations and advertising for the Baptist Health System of East Tennessee and a partner in an Atlanta public relations firm. He also serves as a consumer liaison representative for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Wendell Potter's News Articles


“As one former insurance executive testified before Congress, insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill; they are rewarded for it. All of this is in service of meeting what this former executive called, ‘Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations.’” — President Barack Obama, Remarks to Joint Session of Congress, September 9, 2009
 
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Bfgrn

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It's not the cost of health care that's the problem. It's the amount of money insurance companies skim off their policies. How many CEO's make $100,000,000.00 by making nothing? Just acting as a "middle man"?
Which still figures intot he cost of health care in Ameica. We pay the most for care, the most for prescription drugs and the for insurance.
Bush and the Republicans made it impossible for HMOs or cities to buy drugs in bulk. I work with a guy from India who sends off for drugs for his father. The drugs are made here. Sold here the pills cost over $20 a pill. In India, the SAME PILLS cost $20 for a months supply.

The same drugs, the same company making them.

This was only one of the mini scandals caused by Bush and the Republicans. By stopping "bulk" purchases, these companies can rake in the cash. Thanks to Republican policies.
Medicare D...

The D stands for Destruction
 
OP
Greenbeard

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Some recent updates to KHN's "GOP Presidential Hopefuls: Where They Stand On Health Care," most notably the addition of Cain and Santorum to the list of candidates included.

All in all, there's still not all that much daylight between them, despite a few differences. But then again, there's not all that much detail to their visions yet either.
 

jgarden

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In America, the average life expectancy is approximately 78 years.

Former Governor Romney's state, Massachusetts, was above the national average, ranking 5th with an average life expectancy of 79.8 years.

"Rick" Perry, Governor of Texas since 2001, has a state that ranks 34th with an average life expectancy of 77.6 years - below the national average.

As a former governor of a state that has an average with an average life expectancy 2.2 years above their Texas counterparts, why is Mitch Romney made to feel apologetic about the healthcare plan he helped create?
 

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