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?"
"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