Human Exceptionalism

Why Health Care Will Matter in This Election

Oregon has been trying to insure the uninsured in the state who do not qualify for its (rationed) Medicaid program. So many people want to sign up for subsidized insurance that the state his holding a lottery. From the story:

Oregon is conducting a one-of-a-kind lottery, and the prize is health insurance. The state will start drawing names this week for the chance to enroll in a health care program designed for people not poor enough for Medicaid but too cash-strapped to buy their own insurance. More than 80,000 people have signed up since registration for the lottery opened in January. Only a few thousand will be chosen for the program…An estimated 600,000 people in Oregon are uninsured, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services.

This story illustrates the unrest that is growing about health insurance and access to medical treatment. Indeed, the issue seems as big as it was in 1992, to the point that it is beginning to look like a pressure cooker ready to blow. This means that the issue could influence the election.

Where do the presidential candidates stand? Senator Hillary Clinton wants mandatory private insurance for everyone, with potential wage garnishment for those who don’t sign up, and Senator Barack Obama has a similar, albeit non mandatory except for children, approach. I am not sure what Senator John McCain’s plan will be, but if it isn’t convincing, he will lose votes.