Presidential candidate U.S. Senator Chris Dodd for the first time unveiled his plan to give everyone in America universal health care coverage earlier this year at a kitchen table in Marion, Iowa. Dodd plans to go on a kitchen table tour through Iowa and New Hampshire visiting individual homes and having question and answer sessions with small groups of people.
Dodd’s first such gathering from Marion was broadcast on a rather innovative idea called Dodd TV where people can follow the Senator’s travels live through his website chrisdodd.com. To be more specific about the health care plan itself the thing that it seems to have that should be most appealing to voters is its flexibility.
Dodd does not make the mistake of making people dump their existing plan in order to adopt this one. The last thing the people want when it comes to health care is the federal government bossing them around. Another highlight of the plan is that it truly deals with pre-existing conditions.
All candidates contend that they want to offer more choices and to make insurance companies play in a more free market competition oriented system where the insurance companies actually have to compete for patients. This would be interesting to see how a candidate like Dodd would be able to work his way through the Congress as his plan gets scrutinized by different interest groups.
The plan will be similar to that of the same plan that all federal employees get. Individuals and employers will pay into what Dodd calls a Universal Health mart at their own discretion He came out swinging against the health care plans of Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards claiming that the Obama plan did not deal with prevention and that the Edwards plan did not match the specific needs and grant each region the specific tools that they need to succeed in this area.
Senator Dodd wants to make sure that you can roll over your health care plans if you need to transfer jobs, much like a 401k style system. Dodd definitely admits that there is some need for bureaucratic shuffle as I call it and the for profit insurance companies to come to the table. He realizes that a single-payer, non-profit healthcare program is unrealistic at this time. He is critical of Obama for only wanting to cover children in his view.
The way I understood it is that Obama’s plan has a difficult time even doing that. Obama’s plan does predict that it will save the average American up to twenty five hundred dollars a year. That is a lofty goal and the Senator from Illinois should be commended, however some people who need healthcare don’t even make much of a wage to begin with so it would be interesting to see how this plan would be implemented.
As far as the specifics of the Edwards plan, the expansion of the SCHIP, or State Children’s Health Isuramce Program and Medicaid need to be expanded. I think what should be noted is that most likely anyone who wants to provide universal health care that is truly applicable to everyone’s needs you are going to have to raise taxes and not all the candidates have come clean on whether a tax increase would be necessary. I think the candidate who can offer the most options with the least fluff and organization very well may be Chris Dodd at least in the Democratic primary field.