A hearty thank you to the Susan Blumenthal and her team at the Huffington Post for creating this helpful visual tool:
The next president of the United States will confront major health policy decisions that will affect the lives of all Americans. With the first of the presidential caucuses and primaries only six months away, the pressure is on for the candidates to provide Americans with their plans to improve the nation’s health care system—and rightfully so. Despite spending over $2 trillion a year on health care—18% of the U.S. GDP and twice as much as any other nation—the United States ranks only 45th in life expectancy and 37th in a World Health Organization study on the performance of national health systems.
Considering that Michael Moore’s film, Sicko, is bringing to public attention the advantages of a universal health care system, it will be interesting to see if any of these positions will change or be modified over the next few months.
45 million Americans do not have any health coverage and that 41% of adults are personally worried about health care or insurance costs, topping concerns about paying their rent or mortgage, being a victim of a terrorist attack or a violent crime, losing their job, or losing money in the stock market, and considering the popularity of the movie Sicko (which we’ve blogged about), it should come as no surprise that health care is a top domestic issue that the public wants presidential candidates to address, trailing only Iraq.
Recognizing the need to be fully informed and having the health care debate influenced by the public, two more informational articles and sites have popped up—first, the Kaiser Family Foundation today launched a new website – health08.org – that will provide analysis of health policy issues, regular public opinion surveys, and news and video coverage from the campaign trail. Secondly, the New York Times has also compiled quotes and positions of all the candidates, and differs a bit than than the Huffington Post analysis mentioned in this blog earlier —I found it particularly interesting and encouraging that many of the candidates have held off on the details of their plans, citing that they want to hear from the public. If this is important to you, let your representatives know!