sexta-feira, 6 de julho de 2007

A disputa pela Casa Branca passa pela Saúde

Esse blogue tem destacado que a proposta de assistência médica nos EUA será o ponto principal, depois do Iraque. Hoje, o The New York Times publica matéria de primeira página destacando a importância do tema para Democratas e Republicanos. 2008 Candidates Vow to Overhaul U.S. Health Care By ROBIN TONER. Published: July 6, 2007 WASHINGTON, July 5 — There is no better measure of the power of the health care issue than this: Sixteen months before Election Day, presidential candidates in both parties are promising to overhaul the system and cover more — if not all — of the 44.8 million people without insurance.Their approaches are very different, reflecting longstanding divisions between the parties on the role of government versus the private market in addressing the affordability and availability of health insurance. Republicans, by and large, promise to expand coverage by using a variety of tax incentives to empower consumers to buy it themselves, from private insurers. Conservatives warn, repeatedly, of Democrats edging toward the slippery slope of “government-controlled health insurance,” as former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York puts it, and promote the innovation and choice offered by private insurers. The major Democratic candidates propose strengthening the private-employer-based system, through which most working families get their coverage. But many Democrats also see a strong role for government, including, in some plans, new requirements that individuals obtain insurance and that employers provide it, along with substantial new government spending to subsidize coverage for people who cannot afford it. Still, while they argue over solutions, both parties acknowledge the problems and their political urgency. Republicans, whose primaries usually turn on other issues, often wait until the general election to roll out detailed health plans; this time they are plunging into the debate far earlier. Democrats are competing furiously among themselves over who has the bigger, better plan to control costs and to approach universal coverage, a striking change from the party’s wariness on the issue a decade ago after the collapse of the Clintons’ health care initiative. And both parties are closely watching the action in the states as potential blueprints for a centrist compromise, especially in Massachusetts, which just began a major plan intended to require that every individual have insurance. In short, says Jonathan Gruber, an economist, health expert and Clinton administration veteran, the times are “radically different.”

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