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Obama vs. McCain: healthcare smackdown

October 13, 2008 |  5:20 pm

Candidates200 Those who don't navigate over to our other Health pages are missing out, especially this week. Staff writer Susan Brink has put together a comprehensive roundup of differences between the healthcare plans of Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, and, not surprisingly, a lively discussion has broken out. You can read the full thread at this link, but for those who prefer (or only have time for) an abridged debate, here are several unedited samples: 

From "Joan Walthers:"

"John McCain's plan would be the best. It isn't perfect but at least the insurance would not be handled by the government. We have medicare ins. It is very difficult to get a doctor to accept our insurance even with a supplement because the government is so slow at paying bills and then will pay such a small amount. Doctors can't wait until some gov. office decides to pay the bill. And what sick person can afford to wait for some politician to decide whether the illness should be covered or not and to what extent. No Thanks. Government needs to stay out of people's business. It needs to enable people to make choices, not make them for them."

From "Laura Remson Mitchell:"

"The McCain approach would be a disaster for anybody who has--or ever gets--a major health problem. If you want health care to remain essentially a private rather than a public good, we need *more* regulation, not less. The tax credit promised by McCain would be meaningless without *significant* regulation of private insurance underwriting practices, among other things. What good is the McCain health-care credit if you can't buy the coverage you need at *any* price, much less an affordable one?"

From "Strauss:"

"Obamas Healthcare Plan? McCain's Healtcare Plan ? None of the above will win. Just another campaign promise that will never happen. It never ceases to amaze me that people continue to believe candidates who make promises to get elected and then never keep them. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a national health care plan. Here's a better idea. Start exercising and loose weight and quit taking blood pressure medication. Quit eating junk food and stop tsking cholesterol pills. The US is currently 45 in the world in life expectancy."

There's plenty more of that, and you are welcome to add your comments over there (or here). 

-- Martin Beck

Illustration: David Gothard / For The Times

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Comments (8)

I buy my own health insurance. McCain's health insurance tax deduction would not even pay for one fourth of the cost of my insurance. When I ran a small business, I could deduct my health insurance as well as my medical expenses as business expenses. Many small family firms operate this way. McCain's plan is just like what Bush has proposed. I am very disappointed in McCain. Other than the very wealthy and end-times Armageddonists like Sarah Palin, I don't know who the Republicans represent anymore.

As for Obama, I don't think he'll have the money to put his plan into place.

i don't think oboma can handle president of the U.S. and his healthcare plan is so unclear so I am going with McCain on this one.

I fon't feel that john McCain has my best intersts at heart. I will vote for Obama

It has never been made clear exactly what McCain's healthcare plan will do for ME! He says he will give a $5,000.00 refundable tax credit. What does this mean? What does refundable mean? Obama says that McCain will tax our insurance benefits. Does that mean we will be taxed on anything the insurance has to pay out? If that's the case we will owe the government everything we have due to extensive tests and hospital stays.

I don't want to hear about Joe the Plumber buying a business. I want to hear about retirees like my husband and myself.

I also believe that the people need to make changes in their lifestyles in order to make health care more affordable for themselves. Eat right, exercise, stop taking unnecessary medications, such as headache meds, weight loss pills, cough syrup, etc. The people of the US believe in all these man made concoctions and what they don't realize is that tea's and herbs do the same thing for you without the trail of side affects: nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, fainting spells, vomiting, upper respiratory infections, stroke, and even death... sound familiar?

I don't quite understand McCain's healthcare plan. I have diabetes and if I didn't have insurance from my employer I wouldn't have insurance at all. I am uninsurncable. If McCain get elected without healthcare I WILL die.
I will not find a healthcare plan for $5000. Why then though I am a republican should I vote for John McCain?

I have a question for all of you -can Mr. McCain solve this health care problem. My Mother and Father have never asked for anything from the Govt. until recently. In 2007 my Father was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. They now get SSDI, My mother had to quit her job in Dec 2007 due to my Father needing 24/7 in home care and she refuses to put him in a nursing home because he spent his life supporting his family and she does not plan on giving someone whom does not know him the responsibility of taking care of him. They are in their late 50's Based on their current Benefits from SSDI they do not qualify for assistance, between their mortgage, utilities, Cost for Healthcare on Cobra, they have just about drained both of their 401K's. What is your solution for this Mr. McCain what would be your solution for hard working Americans that spent their life working to make a better Economy and now they are turned away from every governement office for help with the statement they get at every turn is your income is too much- well let me tell you he paid into this and he earned this but yet it is not enough, How is your 5k tax rebate going to help my parents when they dont have the money to pay for it and Im sorry Mr. Soyer but if you do not understand the needs of real Americans whom have sacrificed you do not understand McCains health plan do some research Obamas plan will cover 47 million Americans what part of this dont you understand, and if you check out the history of great presidents you will find that Obamas policies that he has talked about have kick started the economy similar to president Regan whom actually spoke to rogue nations

Now that Obama is elected he will get his chance to follow through with his promises. Hopefully all the talk will now be put into action!


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