Elecciones en EEUU y resurgimientos de reforma de su sistema de salud

Comprehensive health care reform disappeared from the national agenda after the Clinton administration failed to enact universal coverage in 1993 and 1994. Instead, Congress adopted incremental measures that enjoyed bipartisan support, including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The retreat from comprehensive reform reflected, in part, the calculus that ambitious plans were too controversial and too hazardous to their sponsors’ political health to attempt. But that political calculus is changing. Health care ranks as the top domestic issue in opinion polls, and talk of major reform is back in vogue as the 2008 election approaches. Democratic and Republican voters have contrasting views on health care reform (see graph), so not surprisingly, the issue is playing out very differently in the parties’ presidential primaries. The leading Democratic candidates have all released comprehensive, detailed plans. Former Senator John Edwards (NC) was first out of the gate with a plan, and Senators Barack Obama (IL) and Hillary Clinton (NY) subsequently unveiled their own proposals. The plans are remarkably similar. All three aim to cover all or nearly all uninsured Americans, to build on the current mixed system of private and public insurance, and to avoid making any changes that would unsettle people who are currently insured.

Figure 1

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