Monday, January 14, 2008

The candidates on healthcare

An interesting NPR piece on the coverage the candidates have for themselves and that they offer their campaign staffers.

Indeed, almost all the Democratic candidates offer health insurance to their campaign workers. The lone holdout, ironically, is Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who advocates the most generous tax-funded health plan of any candidate.


Republicans, on the other hand, are a more mixed lot. McCain and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani offer health insurance to their campaign staff; Reps. Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter don't, largely because staffers are volunteers.


And when asked how the candidates get health insurance for themselves, the campaigns of Giuliani, former Sen. Fred Thompson (TN), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) wouldn't divulge details. It's worth noting that, as a resident of Massachusetts, Romney is required by law — a law which he helped pass — to at least have health coverage.

It's a shame those candidates won't talk about their own coverage, says health policy analyst Marilyn Moon. Because knowing what kind of coverage they have would help illustrate how the health-reform plans they're proposing for everyone else — plans that rely more on having individuals buy their own insurance — might or might not work.

"One of the difficulties in terms of assessing these health-care plans is actually illustrated by the situations of some of these candidates. Not all of them might qualify for good coverage under the plans that they have offered," Moon says.

That's because Giuliani and Thompson are, like McCain, cancer survivors. And in the individual health-insurance market, says Moon, at least under current rules, people who have had cancer or another serious disease often can't buy health insurance at any price.
Maybe this explains why Rudy 9iu11iani and Frederick of Hollywood are running in the first place.



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