ON HEALTH CARE:
ON HEALTH CARE: JOE BIDEN (D)
Joe Biden believes we need to take three steps to contain the cost of health care: modernize the system,
simplify the system and reduce errors. He supports the transition to secure electronic records so that
people can provide their doctors and nurses with vital medical information in real time. He believes there
should be a uniform, efficient system to submit claims.
Joe Biden believes the path toward a 21st century health care system starts with the most vulnerable in
our society. He would expand health insurance for children and relieve families and businesses of the
burden of expensive catastrophic cases. He supports states that are pursuing innovative alternatives to
make sure that everyone has access to health care and believes we should use data from these states to
evaluate what works best in providing affordable access to health care for all.
1. Immediate action
A. Insure every uninsured child under 18 in America.
B. Provide catastrophic health insurance to the 47 million who are uninsured because (i) it
reduces the cost on business, allowing them to be more competitive, and (ii) it relieves the
uninsured of the mental burden that they might lose everything.
2. Incentivize electronic record keeping. This eliminates costs in duplication, which is 10% of the cost of
3. Reduce costs by allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices, which puts pressure on and
creates competition among the drug companies.
4. Achieve universal health care by encouraging the states to experiment. After 30-35 states create
systems, a national consensus on the need for universal health care is established. Using data from these
innovative state programs, select the best ideas, allowing free enterprise where it makes sense and
government intervention where it doesn’t. Also, because business is interested in health care reform,
invite the Fortune 100 CEOs to the White House and give them 6 months to come up with a health care
FINANCING THE PLAN:
1. End the war, which costs $100 billion a year.
2. Take away the additional tax cut for interest on dividends and capital gains, which generates $197
3. Take away the tax cut for the top 1% [those making above $435,000 a year], which provides $85
billion a year.
4. Reducing costs within the system by incentivizing electronic record keeping and negotiating drug
http://www.joebiden.com/issues/#0003; “Join ‘Conversation’ with Joe Biden,” WMUR-TV, Manchester, New
Hampshire (http://www.wmur.com/politics/13348513/detail.html); and “Biden Stresses Experience in N.H. Visit,”
WMUR, Manchester, New Hampshire (http://www.wmur.com/news/11137865/detail.html#).
ON HEALTH CARE: HILLARY CLINTON (D)
Senator Clinton proposed a series of initiatives that will cut the spiraling rate of growth by one-third over
time. Her health care modernization strategy achieves this by targeting the drivers of health care costs,
including (1) our back-ended coverage of health care that gives short-shift to prevention, (2) the nation’s
reliance on an antiquated, wasteful, costly and even dangerous paper-based medical records system, (3)
unmanaged chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease which account for over 75 percent of
health care spending, (4) the over-utilization of medical interventions that provide little added value and
the under-utilization of those that do, (5) and excessive insurance, drug, and malpractice costs.
Senator Clinton’s proposals would reduce costs and improve quality in the health care system.
Taken together they would lower national health spending by at least $120 billion dollars a year. If
businesses received a proportionate reduction in their health benefits spending, they would achieve at
least $25 billion in savings in 2004 dollars. Families would substantially benefit as well. In fact, Business
Roundtable has estimated $2,200 in national health savings for the typical family. And these savings
would be reinvested in the system to help cover the 45 million uninsured.
To achieve this goal, Senator Clinton’s strategy would include:
1. A Groundbreaking National Prevention Initiative to Reduce the Incidence of Such Diseases as
Diabetes and Cancer that Impose Huge Human and Financial Costs
2. Institute a New “Paperless” Health Information Technology System
3. Transform Care of Today’s Chronically Ill Population to Improve Outcomes and Decrease Costs
4. Ending Insurance Discrimination to Help Reduce Administrative Costs
5. Create an Independent “Best Practices” Institute to Empower Consumers, Providers and Health
Plans to Make the Right Care Choices
6. Implement Smart Purchasing Initiatives to Constrain Excess Prescription Drug and Managed
7. Put in Place Common-Sense Medical Malpractice Reforms
*NOTE: This excerpt has been minimally re-formatted. The complete document, including citations, can be found
ON HEALTH CARE: CHRIS DODD (D)
Senator Chris Dodd believes in ensuring that all Americans have healthcare coverage, regardless
of economic status. The foundation of his plan begins with the establishment of a Health Care General
Fund (HCGF). Employers will be forced to either cover their employees, or contribute to the Fund.
Americans not covered by their employers will then be required to purchase insurance from the Fund,
with prices being based on the worth of the individual’s assets, relative to the federal poverty level.
However, small businesses that employ less than ten people will be exempt from having to contribute to
the Fund. In the same vein, businesses employing between ten and thirty employees will be eligible for
federal assistance in contributing to the Fund.
Additionally, Senator Dodd feels the healthcare system can only be efficient if costs are driven
downwards. To that end, he believes in focusing on preventative care and utilizing health information
technology. By encouraging screenings, regular doctor visits, and early treatments, chronic conditions
can better be kept under control. Additionally, through the integration of clinical information tools and
monitoring of technologies, hospitals and clinics will avoid unnecessary tests and procedures that drive up
the cost of treatment.
Finally, Senator Dodd believes in extending the coverage of Medicare to adults who make 100
percent above the poverty line and to children whose family’s income in up to 300 percent of the poverty
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Resiliency Act of 2007
This bill promotes children’s mental health by allowing for $205 million for new grants and
research initiatives to improve access to and quality of children’s mental health services, enhanced of
regional and local coordination of treatment, improved collaboration between federal agencies with
regard to promoting children’s mental health policy, and increased federal research into children’s mental
The Food and Drug Revitalization Act
Senate passed this bill in 2007, which contains two critical pieces of legislation authored by
Senator Dodd. The Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act provides incentives for drug manufacturers to
conduct clinical trials in children, gives pediatric medications priority status for FDA evaluation, and
promotes the dissemination of information related to the use of drugs in children. The Pediatric Medical
Devices Safety and Improvement Act improves incentives for the development of medical devices that
are safe and effective for children and infants. Additionally, the bill streamlines the approval process for
new technology, improves the FDA’s ability to track the availability and effectiveness of pediatric
devices, and establishes grants for matchmaking between inventors, manufacturers, and the Federal
government to aid in the development of new devices.
The Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act
This bipartisan legislation would authorize $100 million over five years for increased and
coordinated federal prevention, treatment, and research of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Further, it
would provide $250,000 over two years to establish an advisory committee within the Department of
HHS to bring federal agencies, such as the CDC and the NIH, together with patient organizations,
clinicians, and members of the scientific community to help fight these diseases.
Information from: http://www.chrisdodd.com
ON HEALTH CARE: JOHN EDWARDS (D)
ON UNIVERSAL COVERAGE:
“We have to stop using words like ‘access to health care’ when we know with certainty those words mean
something less than universal care. Who are you willing to leave behind without the care he needs?
Which family? Which child? We need a truly universal solution, and we need it now.”
“UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE THROUGH SHARED RESPONSIBILITY”
• The goal of the Edwards plan is to insure every American by 2012.
• The plan is based on shared responsibility: businesses, families, and governments must each do
their part to achieve universal health coverage and a better, more efficient health care system.
• Insurance will become affordable through the creation of new tax credits, expansion of Medicaid
and SCHIP, reformation of insurance laws, and implementation of innovative techniques to
contain health care costs.
The Edwards plan is based around a four step process:
1. Businesses will be required to either provide a comprehensive health plan to their employees
or to contribute to the cost of covering them through the Health Markets.
2. The federal government will be responsible for helping families obtain insurance.
3. The federal and state governments will create regional Health Market purchasing pools that
will give individuals bargaining power to purchase affordable, high quality plans. These
markets will also increase choices among insurance plans and would cut costs for businesses
4. After the above steps are taken, individuals will be required to obtain coverage.
“AFFORDABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE HEALTH CARE”
To help providers and payers improve the quality of health care, Edwards will:
• Promote evidence-based medicine
o Disseminate objective information on medical advances
o Help doctors implement new advances
• Pioneer new ways to pay for health care
• Prevent medical errors
• Invest in preventive care
• Improve the treatment of chronic diseases
• Empower patients through transparency
• Reduce health disparities
• Improve productivity with information technology
o Adopt electronic medical records
• Protect patients against dangerous medicine
Excerpts are taken from John Edwards’ Official Website: (http://johnedwards.com/about/issues/health-care/).
Edwards’ complete plan, “Universal Health Care Through Shared Responsibility” is available on his website
ON HEALTH CARE: DENNIS KUCINICH (D)
Rep. Kucinich (D-OH) believes that the best method of implementing universal coverage is through a
single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare system. His plan is based primarily on H.R. 676, a bill titled
“United States National Health Insurance Act” that he co-authored with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).
ON HIS BILL, H.R. 676…
“We must establish streamlined national health insurance, ‘Enhanced Medicaid for Everyone’.
[As Dr. Marcia Angell described], ‘The underlying problem is that we treat healthcare like a
market commodity instead of a social service. Health care is targeted not to medical need, but to
the ability to pay. Markets are good for many things, but they are not a good way to distribute
ON COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE…
“I have great respect for allopathic proactive, but at the same time, I think that you will find that
allopathic practitioners who are candid will admit that there are limitations to their own practice.
It’s time to help widen the vision of modern medical doctrine and explore alternative medicine.
We have to let go of the fear that alternative medical practices will replace and endanger
standards and instead embrace the idea that any method that is proven a safe form of treatment
ought to be available to the public.”
ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS…
“Perhaps the most shocking increases in health care are occurring in prescription drugs. By now,
it is well known that drug costs are high and getting higher. But what is less well known is that
one of the main reasons that drug costs are so high is that drug companies get legal manufacturing
monopolies through the patent system. My bill would greatly increase funding for research and
development of pharmaceuticals through the National Institutes of Health. The bill would not
prevent anyone from getting a patent. Bui patented drugs developed with private funding would
have to compete with drugs whose R&D was publicly funded, which would be difficult.”
ON MENTAL HEALTH…
“Millions of citizens in this country are being neglected by our current leadership. Among them
are the homeless, veterans, convicts, and the mentally ill. The climate of neglect towards the
mentally ill must change. I have long been an advocate of increased funding towards mental
health programs. Mental health care is a right, not a privilege. We can ensure that everyone has
access to the treatments and counseling they need, as part of my not-for-profit universal health
“AIDS is a global epidemic. The United States must commit our full resources to fighting this
growing global crisis. To do anything short of that is unacceptable. In the name of justice,
humanity, and for the protection of the global community, we must seek ways to increase, not
decrease, funding to fight this epidemic.”
Information from: http://www.kucinich.us/issues
ON HEALTH CARE: BARACK OBAMA (D)
I. Provide affordable, comprehensive and portable health coverage for every American.
• Establish a new public insurance program
• Create a National Health Insurance Exchange (NHIE)
• Require all employers to contribute towards health coverage
• Mandate that all children have health care coverage.
• Expand eligibility for Medicaid and SCHIP programs
• Allow flexibility for state health reform plans
II. Modernize the U.S. health care system to lower costs and improve quality.
• Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses
• Ensure that patients receive and providers deliver quality care
• Adopt state-of-the-art HIT systems
• Reform market structure to increase competition in the insurance and drug
III. Promote prevention and strengthening public health
• Employers—expand and reward worksite interventions, such as health promotion programs,
• School systems—create more healthful environments for children
• Workforce—expand funding to ensure strong workforce (such as primary care providers and
public health practitioners) that will champion prevention and public health activities.
• Individuals and families—encourage healthy environments, expand community-based
• Federal, state, and local governments—develop and implement national and regional strategy
for public health
In addition, Obama claims that a typical family will save up to $2,500 every year through:
• Adoption of state-of-the-art HIT systems
• Improvement of access to preventive care and chronic disease management programs
• Requirement of hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data
• Reform of market structure to increase competition in the insurance and drug markets
• Reduction of the costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and their employees, which will
• Reduce insurance premiums
• Lowering of drug costs by allowing importation of safe medicines from other developed
• Countries and increasing the use of generics in public programs
Obama’s “Plan for a Healthy America” (http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/HealthPlanFull.pdf).
ON HEALTH CARE: BILL RICHARDSON (D)
Bill Richardson believes that every American should have access to affordable and secure health
insurance. He proposes a plan that will allow everyone to have access to the same quality of healthcare as
members of Congress and the President. His plan will guarantee that all Americans will have choices of
high quality and affordable care, and will have the option to keep their current coverage or obtain
coverage through the new program.
THE RICHARDSON PLAN
1. Open up existing sources of affordable, portable coverage to more Americans
• The Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan will allow working families and small
businesses to purchase coverage
• Medicare will be available to Americans 55 and older. Medicare will provide care for
seniors and persons with disabilities, eliminating the multiple, uncoordinated programs
that currently exist.
• Low-income Americans can receive coverage through expanded SCHIP and Medicaid
• Veterans will be guaranteed high quality care when they need it.
2. Help families pay for coverage
• An advance refundable tax credit will help families purchase coverage
• All employers will be required to help contribute to a healthy workforce
• All Americans will be required to obtain coverage
3. Lower health costs
• Passing a Medical Borrower’s Fairness Act to help families who are forced to borrow
money to pay for health care expenses
• Streamline health administration through IT and other reforms
• Focusing on prevention, specifically chronic disease prevention activities
• Improving the quality of care
FINANCING THE PLAN
• Richardson believes that his plan can be financed without raising taxes.
• He also hopes to reduce administration costs, noting that 31% of healthcare expenditures
are for administration.
• This plan will be a partnership between the government, employers, and employees.
• It will also call for individual responsibility, requiring everyone to obtain health
“Health Care Issues.” Bill Richardson for President: The Official Campaign Website.
ON HEALTH CARE:
ON HEALTH CARE: SAM BROWNBACK (R)
Sam Brownback believes that the health care system needs to provide consumers with more choices and
more control, which would create real competition in the health care marketplace. Brownback believes
that a consumer-centered healthcare model will offer affordable coverage with more options, and will
give the individual control of their health care.
• Create price transparency, so consumers have increased market knowledge and the ability to
• Consumers will be able to purchase a plan that fits their families’ needs, not a plan with added,
• Consumers will have access to a lifetime electronic medical record and will allow individuals to
have control over the use of their records.
Brownback believes that socialized medicine will deprive consumers of important treatments and this
type of system is not reflective of the American spirit; therefore, he will focus on preventing any
unwanted government intervention.
“Issues.” Sam Brownback’s Official Campaign Website, Brownback for President 2008.
ON HEALTH CARE: RUDY GIULIANI (R)
Rudy Giuliani has announced that his official health care plan will be released later this summer. He
proposes that the health care system shift from an employer-based system to an individual, consumer-
driven marketplace. He emphasizes that Americans need to be given more choices when it comes to their
health care options, and vows that an individual marketplace would provide consumers with more control
and more choices.
• Giuliani does not support a government mandate that would require all Americans to purchase
• In order to give consumers more choice, Americans would be able to purchase insurance from
any company in any state, allowing them to become an active consumer, with the ability to select
a cheaper, more basic plan.
• Giuliani believes that a “paradigm shift” toward an individual driven market will create a larger
risk pool, perhaps three times as large as it is now.
• A larger risk pool, with younger and healthier individuals, will spread out high costs and reduce
FINANCING THE PLAN
• Giuliani would create a $15,000 tax exemption that tax payers could use to purchase their own
• The consumer could use this money to purchase any plan he wants, and could use the leftover
funds for a health savings account or retirement fund.
• Americans who still are unable to pay for their own coverage would be granted a voucher from
the government to help them purchase a policy.
“Giuliani Health Proposal Seeks Individual Coverage.” Laura Meckler and John Harwood. The Wall Street Journal
Online. June 7, 2007. Page A9. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118117722127727221.html.
“Giuliani Sets Forth a Dozen Priorities for His Presidency.” Marc Santora. The Wall Street Journal. June 13. 2007.
ON HEALTH CARE: MIKE HUCKABEE (R)
Mike Huckabee has released a statement on his Exploratory Committee’s website that describes his
position on health care reform. Although he has not revealed a specific plan of action, Huckabee has
affirmed that he believes there needs to be a complete overhaul of the health care system. His goal is to
move from an employer-based system to a consumer-based health care market.
Huckabee firmly believes that the nation does not need universal coverage mandated by a federal edict,
rather, he advocates policies that will encourage the private sector to make health care more affordable.
Huckabee wants to reform the system so that Americans have more control of their health care options,
and where all people have better access to preventive health care.
PROPOSALS TO BRING DOWN HEALTH CARE COSTS
• Reform medical liability
• Adopt electronic medical records
• Increase portability of insurance from one job to the next
• Expand health savings accounts
• Make health insurance tax deductible for individuals, similar to how it is now for businesses
• Promote market competition in the health care industry
• Create a consumer-based system
Huckabee’s plan is built around his belief that the current health care system is irreversibly broken
because it is only a health care system, not a health system. Therefore, most of his reforms will focus on
promoting better health practices, chronic disease prevention, and improving the health of all Americans.
“Health Care.” Explore Huckabee Website: The Exploratory Committee’s Official Website.
ON HEALTH CARE: JOHN MCCAIN (R)
Senator McCain (R-AZ) believes in creating a health plan that is universal in its accessibility and
affordability. Though not yet released, McCain’s plan would entice low-income Americans to purchase
health insurance through tax incentives, create community health centers, expand the current SCHIP
program, place health care online, reform medical malpractice, and make health savings accounts more
readily available. Further, he has criticized his Democratic counterparts who have proposed plans
involving universal coverage mandates because of the need to raise taxes, something that McCain
Along with Senator Salazar (D-CO), Senator McCain has developed a 10-member National Commission
on Health Care to study current government health care programs and the private health insurance
industry. These analyses will be used to critically address these areas and provide suggestions for
ON DEMOCRATIC PROPOSALS OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE MANDATES…
“It’s certainly, in my view, the same as what we’ve seen in European countries
and Canada, which is a two-tiered, government-run system, which I don’t think is
going to succeed. I think it’s the warmed-over proposal that we rejected back in
the early 1990s. And I’m certainly not interested in raising people’s taxes, as
many of the Democrats are interested in doing. I’m absolutely opposed to that.”
ON FIGHTING FOR LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS…
“New estimates now indicate that the Medicare prescription drug benefit will cost
American taxpayers $720 billion to $1.2 trillion in the coming decade—those
figures are for the new prescription drug benefit alone, they do not include other
Medicare costs. The situation is not sustainable. Something must be done to rein
in the cost of spiraling prescription drug prices.”
ON DRAFTING A GENERIC DRUG PLAN WITH SENATORS SCHUMER, KENNEDY, AND GREGG…
“This solid compromise will promote competition within the pharmaceutical industry and ensure
that all American, particularly our most vulnerable, have access to more affordable prescription
ON PLACING A CAP ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AWARDS…
“Medical malpractice reform looms as one of the most critical factors negatively impacting our
nation’s health care system. Our nation’s medical malpractice system has only succeeded in
adding billions of dollars a year to the cost of health care, while reducing patient access to
physicians and treatment. To address exorbitant jury awards for non-economic damages, this bill
caps non-economic damages at $250,000, while allowing states the flexibility to maintain their
Information from: http://mccain.senate.gov and http://salazar.senate.gov
ON HEALTH CARE: RON PAUL (R)
FROM HIS “LOWERING THE COST OF HEALTH CARE...”
“As a medical doctor, I’ve seen first-hand how bureaucratic red tape interferes
with the doctor-patient relationship and drives costs higher. The current system
of third-party payers takes decision-making away from doctors, leaving patients
feeling rushed and worsening the quality of care. Yet health insurance premiums
and drug costs keep rising. Clearly a new approach is needed. Congress needs to
craft innovative legislation that makes health care more affordable without
raising taxes or increasing the deficit. It also needs to repeal bad laws that keep
health care costs higher than necessary.”
ON MARKET COMPETITION...
“Only true competition assures that the consumer gets the best deal at the best
price possible by putting pressure on the providers. Patients are better served by
having options and choices, not new federal bureaucracies and limitations on
legal remedies. Such choices and options will arrive only when we unravel the
HMO web rooted in old laws, and change the tax code to allow individual
Americans to fully deduct all healthcare costs from their taxes, as employers can.”
ON GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION...
“The problems with our health care system are not the result of too little
government intervention, but rather too much. Contrary to the claims of many
advocates of increased government regulation of health care, rising costs and red
tape do not represent market failure. Rather, they represent the failure of
government policies that have destroyed the health care market.”
ON HIS HEALTH FREEDOM PROTECTION ACT...
“This bill restores the First Amendment rights of consumers to receive truthful
information regarding the benefits of foods and dietary supplements by codifying
the First Amendment standards used by federal courts to strike down the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) efforts to censor truthful health claims. The Health
Freedom Protection Act also stops the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) from
censoring truthful health care claims.”
ON HEALTH CARE: MITT ROMNEY (R)
Mitt Romney believes that the health of our nation can be improved by extending health insurance to all
Americans, not through a government program or new taxes, but through market reforms.
Governor Romney: “‘The market works. Personal responsibility works.’ We're going to have insurance
for all of our citizens they can afford, that's theirs, that's portable. They never have to worry about losing
it. That's the answer.”
Governor Romney: “And this is a country that can get all of our people insured with not a government
takeover, …without socialized medicine. Instead, get the market to do its job, let people have health care
that they can afford, get the market to do its job, let people have the opportunity to choose policies in the
Governor Romney: “Well some people are going to say the best way to reform health care is have the
government take it over, a single payer system, let the tax payer pick up the bill…. My suggestion is that
the European model for solving health care is not the model at all. There is an American reform model:
apply free market principles and individual responsibility. We took steps to do that in my state this last
year. Here are the keys:
-Make sure that the consumer of health services cares how much those services cost.
-Number two, get everyone in the system. You can't have people showing up at the hospital
expecting free care because that ends up being passed on to everybody else.”
Governor Romney: “I believe the states are our best laboratories to find the best policy innovations to
our health insurance crisis.”
Associated Press: “As governor, signed health care law aimed at ensuring universal coverage through a
mix of subsidies, sliding scale premiums and penalties for those who don't get insurance. Says that plan
might eventually become a national model.”
Governor Romney: “The idea is for people who can afford insurance, make sure they get their premiums
down by taking mandates off insurance companies—let the insurance companies offer true market-based
products—and then for people who can’t afford insurance, help them buy their own, private policy.
Don’t put them on Medicaid. Get them private insurance, get everybody in the system. It’s a bit like
bringing work to welfare: bring personal responsibility to health care. Get the government out of the
health care business for those 45 million uninsured, and let individuals own their own policies.”
Governor Romney: “We found a way to everybody in our state, Massachusetts, insured.... The idea is for
people who can afford insurance, make sure they get their premiums down by taking mandates off
insurance companies—let the insurance companies offer true market-based products—and then for people
who can’t afford insurance, help them buy their own, private policy. Don’t put them on Medicaid. Get
them private insurance, get everybody in the system. It’s a bit like bringing work to welfare: bring
personal responsibility to health care. Get the government out of the health care business for those 45
million uninsured, and let individuals own their own policies.
http://www.mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/SOTU_2007; Woodward, Calvin. “U.S. presidential candidates on the issues.”
Associated Press, March 11, 2007; and http://mitt-tv.mittromney.com/?showid=48255.
ON HEALTH CARE: TOMMY THOMPSON (R)
Governor Thompson believes America must strengthen its health care system if it is to remain the best in
the world. He would accomplish this by (1) moving the focus to preventive from curative care, (2)
accelerating the adoption of health information technology to save money and lives, (3) placing the
uninsured in state-by-state insurable pools, allowing private insurers to bid on their coverage, (4)
strengthening the nation’s long-term care system that robs too many Americans of their life savings, and
(5) strengthening the Medicare and Medicaid programs to ensure the programs are there in the future for
the millions of Americans who depend on them.
Governor Thompson believes we must build a system that is affordable and accessible for everyone. He
argues that he can accomplish this without a government-run health care program “that includes the worst
aspects of socialized medicine while robbing our great nation of its ingenuity in developing new cures and
treatments for deadly illnesses.”
1. Build a system centered on preventive medicine, rather than curative. In this country, we wait until
people get sick and then spend billions of dollars to try to make them well again. Why not invest up front
in keeping our families healthy in the first place?
2. Use information technology to cut costs, reduce medical errors and create a more efficient health care
system. Our doctors use the latest technology to cure your illnesses, but manila folders to keep track
what’s wrong with you. The industry needs to work together to overcome the barriers to implementing
information technology in the health field. We must make sure different systems can communicate with
each other, so the information on a patient from a doctor’s office in Iowa is useful to a hospital in
California. Doctors, nurses and technicians must know how to use this new technology, and health care
providers must be sure the technology is having its intended effects—that is, to save money, and more
importantly, to save lives.
3. Use the private sector and public sector to provide health insurance for all. This is a basic common-
sense approach to keeping people healthy and reining in health care costs. We should require states to
organize purchasing pools among the uninsured. Such an arrangement would provide health insurance for
families, while allowing the purchasing pools to negotiate better prices for care. It is unfair that the
uninsured are often the only ones to be charged full price for health care, simply because they don’t have
the purchasing power of those with health insurance.
4. Make sure health care and long-term care is affordable. For government, our Medicare and Medicaid
systems will soon break the budgets—and families across America are grappling with how to pay for
long-term care for themselves and for their parents. This isn’t a problem that will go away if we simply
Information from: http://www.tommy2008.com/On_The_Issues.aspx and