COMMENTARY | My father is a doctor. At a young age, he had me work summers in the hospital hoping I would have the same passion as he did for medical care. Given my current profession, I can't say I ever got that, but the issue always has my interest as a result of my experience.
My first full-time job was for an insurance company. I even remember the debates over the Bill Clinton's health plan, especially as my company had me write any article about it for an in-house publication, and what it might do. So I'm always paying attention to the health care issue in debates.
As a College Republican, I remember the arguments made by the party in favor of an individual mandate, where people would be required to purchase insurance, so their treatment costs would not be foisted onto the rest of us. People would be held accountable financially for their own actions. That's why it is part of Romneycare, as well as Obamacare. The two don't seem to differ on much according to the conservative site Newsmax, other than which government administers the same policy. That's why I was surprised both at the opposition to Obamacare, as well as why the GOP nominated the architect of Romneycare as their party leader.
But Paul Ryan is a big difference. His "voucher" plan for Medicare is a little unnerving both for its lack of specificity, as well as what it would do to the health care system.. Other than the vice-presidential debate, we haven't seen much of Ryan, as he's been dispatched to conservative non-competitive states like Alabama. But if Romney chooses the Ryan plan, there is a huge difference.
What I would prefer from both candidates is the ability to made Federal Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) roll over from year to year, allowing us to have tax-free savings over time for health problems that are likely to occur in the future, like my son's crossbite. The candidate that supports such a position gets my vote, even if it is Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, a New Mexico governor.
John A. Tures is an associate professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga.
- Politics & Government
- Paul Ryan