Who’s Really Fighting For You (part II)

Looks like this is going to end up a series as opposed to a single title.  If you’ll remember, the first time I asked the question, “Who’s really fighting for you?” we took a look at the differences between Senator Obama’s tax plan, and Senator John McCain’s tax plan.

Contrary to the lies that John McCain tells on the trail that would have you believe that Obama would raise your taxes, Barack Obama does indeed want to lower taxes for 95% of all Americans.  What’s more, if you make under $112K a year, you will receive a LARGER tax cut under Obama, with the middle class being set up to actually receive a tax cut three times larger under Obama compared to what they would receive under McCain’s tax plan.

Once we look at the lower class, well, then the disparities just get plain ugly with Obama’s tax plan benefitting low income families by a factor of thirty compared to McCain’s tax plan.

But what about healthcare?

One thing, aside from claiming to fight for you, that I noticed McCain did during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention is he coopted an awful lot of Obama’s messaging, and on the surface he even appeared to coopt some of Obama’s ideas (and by coopt I mean steal).  But the similarities in message and substance that McCain attempted to share with his opponent increasingly appear to end at the rhetoric level, not once actually reaching any substantive connection with his fresh new “change” message.

One of these coopted messages/ideas would be McCain’s foray into healthcare, but a recent study has shown that McCain’s proposals to “fix” the nation’s growing healthcare problem would actually do anything but fix it.  Instead, we would find upwards of forty-million more Americans losing their healthcare, while those that remain in healthcare will end up seeing higher costs.

Let me put this in the simplest language I know how: McCain proposes fixing this country’s healthcare by breaking it far worse than it already is.

Now, I’ve admitted before, being a federal employee, I am not on the progressive side of the healthcare debate for myself.  I’ve got wonderful healthcare; the same healthcare plan that both Senator McCain and Senator Obama enjoy.  For me, the healthcare debate is a moral one; I don’t think that being rich should necessarily grant you more rights to life because you have had more money.

Sure, getting rich is part of the American dream.  We’re supposed to grow up and believe that if we work hard, and dedicate ourselves, we can make the money and enjoy a life style that serves as a direct reward to our efforts.  But for me healthcare has always been different; there are plenty of Americans out there who work hard each and every day, but because they don’t sleep on a bed of hundred dollar bills is no excuse to bar them from the kind of quality medical care that they may need to stay alive, and care for their families.

I don’t know, call me silly, but this is just a value to me.  Rhinoplasty is a luxury, being afforded the same chances to survive, I don’t know, cancer, as a billionaire is not.

Thus, I am heartened to find even the Wall Street Journal, no liberal rag by any stretch of the imagination, endorses Obama’s healthcare plan:

Sustained growth thus requires successful health-care reform. Barack Obama and John McCain propose to lead us in opposite directions — and the Obama direction is far superior.

Sen. Obama’s proposal will modernize our current system of employer- and government-provided health care, keeping what works well, and making the investments now that will lead to a more efficient medical system. He does this in five ways:

– Learning. One-third of medical costs go for services at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Fifty billion dollars will jump-start the long-overdue information revolution in health care to identify the best providers, treatments and patient management strategies.

– Rewarding. Doctors and hospitals today are paid for performing procedures, not for helping patients. Insurers make money by dumping sick patients, not by keeping people healthy. Mr. Obama proposes to base Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and doctors on patient outcomes (lower cholesterol readings, made and kept follow-up appointments) in a coordinated effort to focus the entire payment system around better health, not just more care.

– Pooling. The Obama plan would give individuals and small firms the option of joining large insurance pools. With large patient pools, a few people incurring high medical costs will not topple the entire system, so insurers would no longer need to waste time, money and resources weeding out the healthy from the sick, and businesses and individuals would no longer have to subject themselves to that costly and stressful process.

Preventing. In today’s health-care market, less than one dollar in 25 goes for prevention, even though preventive services — regular screenings and healthy lifestyle information — are among the most cost-effective medical services around. Guaranteeing access to preventive services will improve health and in many cases save money.

– Covering. Controlling long-run health-care costs requires removing the hidden expenses of the uninsured. The reforms described above will lower premiums by $2,500 for the typical family, allowing millions previously priced out of the market to afford insurance.

In addition, tax credits for those still unable to afford private coverage, and the option to buy in to the federal government’s benefits system, will ensure that all individuals have access to an affordable, portable alternative at a price they can afford.

(bold added for emphasis)

It’s really simple: you will pay less for your healthcare under Obama’s plan, more people will be covered, and no matter how little you make, you should be able to receive the same benefits that myself, Senator Obama, and Senator McCain enjoy.

Further, in an attempt to preemptively cut off the arguments of “SOCIALISTS!!!” that are sure to ensue, our (Mine, Obama’s and McCain’s) healthcare is far from socialized.  Think of it this way; we’re not cutting the market out of the loop, we’re simply making it more fair for people without means to enjoy the benefits of the healthcare market.

I have been a major fan of Obama’s plan from day one (because I’m largely a fan of my own healthcare plan), and seeing just how terrible McCain’s healthcare is only puts me farther in Obama’s camp.

One Response to “Who’s Really Fighting For You (part II)”

  1. Robert says:

    Very good, relevant post. I’m especially intrigued by the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of Obama’s plan. It’s really un-spinable when you look at the facts.

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