HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Big Issue: Voters Look for Answers on Health Care

The Washington Post reports on a survey that shows that 78% of voters say health care is a very important or extremely important issue.  Both presidential candidates have proposed significant changes to the way Americans purchase health insurance.  Julie Pace writes,

Stethescope3Even if the issue doesn't often get star billing on the campaign trail, health care remains a huge issue for voters. It seems like everyone's got a story to tell about their medical challenges and how they do, or don't, get insurance coverage.

An Associated Press-Yahoo News survey taken last month shows that 78 percent of voters say health care is a very important or extremely important issue.

Both presidential candidates have promised that, if elected, they'll propose significant changes to the way Americans purchase health insurance, a process that is often cumbersome, confusing, and that has left 47 million people in the Unites States uninsured.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain is proposing a tax credit of up to $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families so people can buy the insurance of their choice. That credit would replace the tax break that people currently get when they obtain health coverage through their employer.

Democrat Barack Obama's plan calls for the government to subsidize health coverage for millions of Americans who otherwise could not afford it. He has also proposed a government-run plan that couldn't turn away people with certain pre-existing health problems.

A look at how three American households grapple with finding and paying for health care:


Ygelesias doesn't consider himself a gambler, but he knows he's taking a risk by going without health insurance.

The father of three used to pay about $1,000 a month to buy coverage through his employer, but concluded it wasn't worth it.

"I decided I simply can't afford to put that much money out when I don't use it," Yglesias said.

Yglesias now pays for everything from routine doctor's visits to prescriptions in cash. When his third child was born, he arranged a payment plan with the hospital and doctors.

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It is important to know where all the candidates stand on issues of health care. Congress will be called upon to work with the next president, and their positions will impact what does or does not go into health care and research legislation. To find out where your candidates stand, visit If your candidate's questionnaire has not been filled out, please let them know that this is an important issue and that you'd like to hear their opinion.

Posted by: Hillary Lewis | Oct 24, 2008 1:18:20 PM

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