Thursday, January 03, 2008

Analysis of the Candidates’ Healthcare Proposals

After analyzing the details of each Presidential candidate’s healthcare proposal, it appears that a person is likely to select a proposal based on one’s:
  • Current health insurance plan
  • Level of wealth
  • Priority for assuring good healthcare for all.
Combining these three factors results in eighteen groups of voters--each with particular wants and needs--who would prefer different candidates' proposals based on these factors.

Here is a link to the Analysis of the Candidates’ healthcare Proposals web site. It presents a systematic detailed comparative analysis of each candidate's healthcare proposal based on the wants and needs of the 18 voter groups. The analysis resulted in the following conclusions:
  • The candidates most concerned with improving the quality and controlling the costs (i.e., increasing the value) of healthcare are: Clinton, Edwards, Kucinich, Obama, Richardson and McCain.
  • Voters who want good care for all are willing to do what it takes—including paying increased taxes, etc.—to support a publically-funded UHS. Candidates who want a Federal Employees Health Benefits Program UHS (FEHBP-UHS) and want to keep private insurance as an option are: Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Obama and Richardson. Only Kucinich proposes a government-run Single Payer UHS (SP-UHS). Choosing between these two options is discussed on the web site.

    • If an FEHBP-UHS is desired, then Clinton and Edwards are the best choices because they also more focused on increasing care value, with Obama and Richardson coming in second.
    • If an SP-UHS is desired, then Kucinich is the only choice. Note that his plan (HR 676) is also the most detailed (has the greatest specificity), which means it may be the most credible.
 
  • On the other hand, any Republican is a suitable choice for voters who (a) are not concerned about the care others receive (they aren’t interested in good care for all) and (b) are confident they will always have excellent insurance, or can afford to pay for the care they need out-of-pocket if they lack adequate insurance. Choosing between Republican candidates would likely be based on their strategies for:

    • Minimizing taxes and reducing personal health-related expenses
    • Increasing healthcare value (cost-effectiveness), in which case McCain is probably the best choice since he proposes the most strategies of all Republicans for improving quality and controlling costs (as well as being the only Republican addressing the health need of veterans through the VA).
    Note, however, that there are significant gaps in every candidate’s proposal. It would be useful to know how what it would require to (a) evaluate all the quality improvement and cost control strategies described in this document and to (b) implement the effective ones efficiently.
    All these and other related issues are examined on the web site, including issues concerning healthcare quality improvement, cost control, financing new publicly funded universal healthcare systems, subsidies, mandates, tax changes, and more.

    I welcome your comments.
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