Thursday, September 25, 2008
Yesterday's New England Journal of Medicine published essays by both presidential candidates on their plans for reforming health care in the U.S. McCain's piece: "Access to Quality and Affordable Health Care for Every American." Obama's piece: "Modern Healthcare for All Americans."
As MedPage Today summarizes,
Obama demonstrated some affinity for an issue that Democrats have often shunned -- tort reform -- by writing that he was committed to addressing medical malpractice, but he stopped short of endorsing reforms that would legislate caps on damage awards. Instead, he said his central goal would be "preventing medical errors in the first place."
But he added that he would "support legislation dictating that if you practice care in line with your medical societies' recommendations, you cannot be sued," and said he was open to "additional measures to curb malpractice suits and reduce the cost of malpractice insurance."
For his part, McCain took several opportunities to promote preventive care as a model for reform. "One of the challenges we must face in reforming our healthcare system is that of finding ways to keep the American people healthier."
McCain said he wanted to create a "next generation of efforts to prevent chronic disease, early intervention programs, new treatment models, and public health infrastructure."
In addition to the essays, the NEJM and the Harvard School of Public Health cosponsored a roundtable discussion entitled "Health Care in the Next Administration" featuring senior health policy advisors David Cutler for Senator Obama and Gail Wilensky for Senator McCain.
You can watch a video of the roundtable on-line.