Dick Howe points us to this Lowell Sun article on the recent discussion of health care in the MA-05 race. It’s a very well-researched article: Chockful of relevant and telling quotes from the various candidates; some brief but useful background on the issue; and background on the various proposals in the public sphere at large. A job well done by reporter Matt Murphy — I’m looking forward to reading more from him.
- Jamie Eldridge is shown to have the most ambitious proposal for health care: Single-payer. The government becomes the insurer of everyone. No more health insurers skimming off the top. (This works very nicely in a number of countries.) Eldridge makes a moral and economic case for single-payer:
“The market works great when you’re selling TVs,” he added. “But the reason the market is such a poor design is because HMOs look at a family, where maybe the mother has cancer, and uses that as a reason to deny coverage because they won’t make money off that family. I compare health care to public education.”
- Niki Tsongas has “softened her position considerably”, says the Sun. In her own words:
“I think, fundamentally, we need universal health care in this country,” Tsongas told The Sun. “It’s clear there is a growing crisis in health care, and after many years of discussion, it’s time to do something. I think my comments have been misunderstood. The market does play somewhat of a role providing competition, but in and of itself, government has a major role to play.”
I look forward to Tsongas further clarifying her position: What exactly should be the role of government?
The other candidates also basically support the Massachusetts model, with varying degrees of qualification.
“I want to make sure people are not denied care because of their economic means,” Finegold said. “I’m open to a single-payer system, but I want to give Massachusetts’ plan a chance. I don’t think market forces are the way to go. They basically hurt people and cause HMOs to deny coverage.”
- Donoghue doesn’t trust government-run health care:
… She said government health-care programs are too overrun by bureaucracy and poor management to expect a smooth expansion to universal health coverage.
Note to Donoghue: That’s not the case. The Veteran’s Administration now has some of the best, most cost-effective care in the country. (NB: Walter Reed is not a VA hospital.) Furthermore, we spend much, much more in America for our health care (16% of GDP) than any other country, and our quality is “really, really mediocre, across the board”.
- Lastly, Jim Miceli is on the Massachusetts bandwagon, “with a little fine-tuning.”
There you have it. And I’ll repeat our standing invitation to all of the candidates to post their views on health care (or any other issue), in full, on this site, and to post clarifications or revisions as necessary.