Medical Coverage Key Issue for Candidates, Consumers and Retailers
How important is the issue of medical coverage for voters in determining who will be the next President of the U.S.? How will it affect consumers at retail?
As the elections inch closer, each presidential nominee has introduced their own health insurance plan with promises that, should they be elected, it will change the way our healthcare system provides for those Americans who become sick or get injured.
But it can be difficult to keep track of them all, and this is why the Sign-on San Diego website recently ran an article on the major presidential candidates and the health insurance plan each one has been talking up.
For the top three Republicans, it looks as though tax breaks will be the most popular means of financing medical coverage.
Rudy Giuliani has proposed a tax deduction of $7,500 for people who don’t have employer-based health insurance, as well as giving health care vouchers to poor people.
Mike Huckabee has taken a different approach, saying that guaranteeing health care isn’t the government’s responsibility. He does believe, however, that medical coverage should be deductible for families and transferable among jobs.
And Mitt Romney favors “market reforms” for his health insurance plan, which others suggest is code for “tax breaks to subsidize premiums.”
In the Democratic corner, universal healthcare, or something very similar, is the name of the game.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has claimed she would set a goal of universal health coverage by the end of a second term, and wants to require people to buy health insurance. She also would like to require companies to provide medical coverage to employees regardless of medical history.
John Edwards has been even more aggressive, claiming he would put universal health care in place as soon as he takes office. Mr. Edwards says he will pay for the plan by repealing the Bush tax cut on people earning more than $200,000 a year.
The Barack Obama healthcare plan is a bit more conservative. He has proposed creating a national health insurance pool and subsidizing those who can’t afford available group rates. Employers would need to offer coverage, but it wouldn’t be mandatory.
With all the excitement regarding upcoming elections, it’s hard to know whose
plan will succeed and whose won’t. What we do know is that the winner’s healthcare
plan has the potential to effect the lives and livelihood of every American.
Not only will the type of healthcare plan Americans can enroll in effect how
they purchase healthcare products (HSAs and FSAs, for example), but also may
go a long way in determining whether Americans have more or less disposable
income. This, in turn, may impact consumer shopping habits relative to healthcare
Discussion Questions: How important is the healthcare coverage issue to consumers and will it play a major or minor role in determining who becomes the next President of the United States? How will the healthcare proposals being debated by the candidates effect consumers if they are made into law? What will be the impact at retail?