A guide to the 2012 Presidential Election: on Health Care

We’re heading toward primary state number five: Nevada. This will be the first state west of the Mississippi to have a primary in 2012, and Romney looks to win based on polling. That primary is happening today, and it appears Romney will win a majority of the vote. That would mark the first time this year a majority of a primary had gone to any candidate.

Now, I covered (sort of) what each of the remaining candidates are pushing on Economy/Jobs earlier in the year.  This post will cover what appears to be the next big issue for Republicans: Health Care. What do the four remaining candidates pitch as their cure for healthcare ills in America? Well, let’s see what their websites say:

  • Romney – his site lists six areas that need attention: Repeal/Replace Obamacare, State Leadership, Tax Reforms, Regulatory Reform, Med Mal Reform and Market Forces. What does it mean? Simply, he wants to repeal the legislation passed in early 2010 that requires every American to have insurance. Easier said than done. Then, he wants states to develop their own solutions to the crisis. Again, easier said than done, though I believe this is the better solution. It’s what he did in Massachusetts. The success of that legislation has been debated at length online. He wants to allow individuals to get the tax benefit of purchasing insurance, like businesses get. He wants to limit regulations on health care, cap non-economic damages in litigation, and use market forces to drive down the costs of health care.
  • Gingrich – his site shows a THIRTEEN-POINT plan for how to “save lives and save money.” Each point has a couple of sentences to explain his goals, but doesn’t necessarily explain how to make it happen. He does express four points – cost, quality, competition, and coverage – that he will likely hammer home throughout the next month as we head into Super Tuesday. Much like bills in Congress, these keywords are his best bet for winning over voters, not his thirteen points.
  • Santorum – his site’s link title is explicit, “repeal-and-replace-obamacare-patient-centered-healthcare.” Simple enough. Repeal the bad law, and then let’s move to patient-centered care. He focuses on market-driven care (which I agree with) and patient choice. His plan is incredibly similar to Romney’s without the Romneycare baggage to go with it.
  • Paul – If any of these men is qualified to talk health care, it is. Dr. Ron Paul. His career before politics was in obstetrics, and he’s not bashful about his life as a doctor. His plan includes some of the pieces of Romney/Santorum and Gingrich, but also includes abolishment of the FDA and FTC. He is also the largest proponent of making insurance purchasing possible across state-lines.
  • Obama – For good measure. His site trumpets Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and then discusses facts about care. Not much on continuing to push forward for better care.

If truly honest with myself, I would happily support any of these plans. Paul’s is the most bold of all due to the cancellation of federal programs like the FDA and FTC. Romney’s is the most easy to understand from a bystanders perspective. Gingrich’s is probably the most well-intentioned.

Personally, I’d like to see a charitable method for helping the less fortunate pay for insurance. Seeing as how we as Christians are called to do this, and we haven’t done it very well (for which I am shocked), this is another option. It’s unlikely to ever be discussed. Since I can’t pay for someone else on my own right now, I could pool with others who could. You can read that link for yourself to see if you think it would make sense.

So, there it is. Health care is a big deal. US care is not highly ranked across the globe, so we clearly need to make some moves to improve. A lot of that likely has to do with nutrition, sedentary life, and countless other factors.

Read their links, see what you think.

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