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Monday, March 26, 2007

Obama Called Out

I've posted a number of times about the Democrat's plans for 'Universal Health Care', and specifically about Barack Obama touting it as a major campaign theme, though it's not on his web site anywhere.

Yesterday in Las Vegas an audience member at a candidates forum asked Obama what his plan was, since it's no where to be found on his website. The answer is he doesn't have one yet, the campaign is young; but it's really important to him, and he'll have universal care in place by the end of his first term.

John Edwards claims he can pay for a 90-120 billion dollar program by simply removing the 2002 tax cuts on incomes over 200,000 per year. However, if you do the math on that, those 3.01 million people will each get a tax increase of just under 40,000 per year to pay for his plan.
(the math can be done here by dividing cell B160 by the amount the plan will cost). If you look at the 2002 tax numbers you'll see that he'll have to raise extra revenue somewhere.

Now, if this is true universal coverage, I want to know how, at $400 per person, Mr. Edwards is going to make this happen. Other countries providing universal coverage are spending between 3 and 10 times that per year per person.

Bill Richardson claimed he'll do it for about the same price, without raising taxes. Instead, he'll end the war in Iraq and use all the money for health care. Again, not telling us how he's going to cover everyone for under $500 per person each year.

Hillary say's (link is to new WaPo story) she's going to adjust the current system of employer based health care, and expand it by going after insurance company profits to cover the uninsured. With 45 million uninsured she'd have to get about 45 billion from the insurance companies per year to take care of that. While they've had decent profits, I'm pretty sure they weren't that high.

Dennis Kucinich, to his credit, called out the rest of the field telling them their band-aid approach wasn't going to work, and would cost too much. He wants to scrape the current system entirely, and start from scratch.

The problem with his idea is convincing the 85% of us who are covered, and 60% who are happy with it, that we need to give up what we have for a new government run program. Whie it would be the most painful way of doing things for the majority of us, from a pure standpoint of getting the system right Kucinich's idea is the only one that makes sense.

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