Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Giuliani, McCain, and Romney--Where Are Their Health Care Plans?

Looking at the leading Republican candidates for president you wouldn't think health care is much of an issue.

In fact, finding anything the top three Republican candidates have said regarding health care is sort of like playing, "Where's Waldo."

A recent tour of their official campaign Websites:

Rudy Giuliani - Click on "On the Issues" on Giuliani's Website and health care isn't listed as one of the eleven issues shown from "Fiscal discipline" to "Marriage." Apparently, he hasn't made the connection between Medicare going broke and "Fiscal Discipline."

The only reference I found to Giuliani's health care platform on Google was a story in the Des Moines Register where he mentioned health care vouchers, high risk pools for the uninsurable, and support for President Bush's State of the Union proposal to end the tax exemption on employer provided health insurance in favor of a standard tax exemption. He was also quoted as saying he supports, "fee market, profit-driven" health care as one that serves people best.

John McCain - Click on the "On the Issues" icon on McCain's Website and you get his position on nine issues from "Government Spending, Lower Taxes and Economic Prosperity" to "Protecting Second Amendment Rights"--but none of them deal with health care. Like Giuliani, apparently McCain hasn't made a connection between "Government Spending" and our ballooning entitlement costs--particularly Medicare. He also doesn't mention health care under the "Human Dignity" portion of his platform.

McCain is not a newcomer to health care--he was a primary sponsor, with Senator Kennedy in 1999, of the failed "Patients' Bill of Rights" that would have regulated health insurers.

Mitt Romney - Romney's Website actually mentions health care! Under the "Issue Watch" icon, health care is the tenth of eleven issues he lists. The third issue he lists is, "Competing With Asia." He makes no connection between this and American health care costs (he might ask Detroit about that). Under the "Health Care" issue icon he shows three short statements including, "The health of our nation can be improved by extending health insurance to all Americans, not through a government program or new taxes, but through market reforms."

Romney does not mention the Massachusetts health reform bill he signed that does create a new and very large government program and started out mandating that consumers buy health insurance that costs about $7,000 for a family of three ($2,000 deductible plan, average age of 37).

Apparently, the leading Republican candidates, unlike their Democratic opposites, don't think they need to address health care to win the Republican nomination.

Maybe, and only maybe, that makes sense in the short term, but they would be wrong to underestimate just how important an issue this is to American voters.

You wouldn't think the Democrats won the last election.

Recent post: Clinton, Edwards, Obama--Offering Health Care Reform Proposals More Similar Than Different
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