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Republican Health Insurance Records and Rhetoric

Americans with concerns over their healthcare coverage are not being given much cause for optimism by Democrats or Republicans. While the Affordable Healthcare Act, which didn't seem to please anybody, hangs in the balance of the debate, Republican candidates for president have elevated the rhetoric in their primary squabbles. Talk is cheap, but healthcare is certainly expensive. With this in mind, it is important to consider each candidate's record of action on healthcare policy. Your own insurance could be at risk.

Michele Bachmann

In a very short national political career, Bachmann has been vocal about wanting no government involvement in healthcare. She is a leading voice in the attempt to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act. In her rhetoric, Bachmann says that insurance and care will be better if left to market forces and that the government should not regulate it at all. Bachmann has actually backed up her words by voting against largely popular bills. She voted no to adding 2-4 million children to the SCHIP eligibility in January of 2007 and she voted against the extension of existing healthcare to 6 million children in January of 2008. In recent years, she has called for defunding all national healthcare plans, which would mean the death of Medicare and Medicaid.

She has claimed that the American system of healthcare is the finest system in the world. However, she has also called for fundamental changes to the American system by defunding existing institutions. According to all healthcare ranking world wide, the US is not number one, but somewhere between 37th and 49th.

Ron Paul

The Representative from Texas has been vocally against government involvement in healthcare, consistently voting against government spending and subsidizing healthcare. He has perhaps the most consistent voting record compared to rhetoric. He has called for abolishing Medicare, but has also protecting the benefits of people on Medicare. In 2011, he advocated allowing people to opt out of Medicare. In 2008, Congressman Paul said the country should replace Medicaid with “volunteer pro-bono medical care”. His own contribution to the discussion of a national solution to the healthcare crisis is to expand medical savings accounts.

Rick Perry

Governor Perry is openly in favor of free trade in healthcare and against any government involvement. He argues that this is the best way to promote responsible citizenship and to make healthcare coverage affordable. True to his word, Texas has not attempted to help the low-income and moderate-income families who are struggling and are without necessary medical care. Under his watch, Texas has seen its percentage of insured citizens fall dramatically, despite having higher employment and income numbers than most states, while seeing insurance profits skyrocket. He says he would end federal government involvement in healthcare if he is elected president, meaning millions more uninsured. If Texas is a measure, health insurance prospects would be bleak under President Perry.

Mitt Romney

The former Massachusetts governor was part of a massive health insurance reform that has made Massachusetts the best-insured state in the nation. He worked with state Democrats to provide mandatory care and health insurance vouchers for low-income and middle-income families. The results speak for themselves, but Romney has backed away from those successes, claiming he is pro-free market and anti-government regulation.

 


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