To expand on Democratic strategist’s James Carville’s infamous 1992 Clinton campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid” pretty much sums up the two key issues of the 2008 election.
According to the latest WSJ/NBC News poll, 52% of Americans say the economy and health care are the most important criteria in selecting a president. Today’s Wall Street Journal states: “The poll also shows that voters see health care eclipsing the Iraq war for the first time as the issue most urgently requiring a new approach.” (Italics emphasis mine; I love it when the media use astrological terminology!)
In a 7/31/07 post (“GM: Healthcare & 2008 Election” – see Politics under DIRECTORY), I wrote that healthcare would become the most important election issue. Reports continue to escalate about people who have medical treatment or claims denied who have health insurance through their employer. The public is beginning to understand the frightening reality that only Congress and the wealthiest Americans can be assured of getting the treatment they need without filing for bankruptcy in the process.
If the Republicans even comprehend that it’s virtually impossible for an individual to obtain a health insurance policy at any price, they’re pretending otherwise. They think the entire problem revolves around affordability which is only part of the problem. In disavowing the plan he approved for Massachusetts, former Gov. Romney comes off as a total hypocrite. You would think that after suffering from prostate cancer, Mayor Giuliani would use his personal experience to ensure that all Americans are guaranteed health insurance so they have access to the same level of care. Instead, Giuliani campaigns to maintain the status quo of the “free market” health care system even though no insurance company would issue him an individual policy due to his medical history.
Of the primary Democratic challengers, Sen. Obama wants guaranteed coverage for children, but not adults. How can a parent who cannot get health insurance and is sick properly care for their child? I guess Sen. Obama never paid attention to the safety announcement on commercial flights instructing the adult in an emergency to put their oxygen mask on first before their child’s. Edwards wants a government run-system leaving no role for the insurance companies.
The only presidential candidate that has the chance of guaranteeing all Americans health insurance is Sen. Clinton. While I personally would prefer a single payer system, Sen. Clinton is pragmatic in seeking guaranteed coverage for all under an insurance run, Federal government/Medicare-style model.
When a presidential candidate and their supporters try to convince you that giving every American equal access to healthcare is too expensive, ask them if they would qualify for a medically underwritten individual policy.
Wall Street Journal: “Economy Moves To Fore as Issue For 2008 Voters”