By Margaret Badore for DietsInReview.com
The debt ceiling may be getting a lot of political coverage at the moment, but health care will be a critical issue in the 2012 presidential election. Members of the GOP began lobbying for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly know as the health care reform bill) as soon as it was signed into law in 2010.
Approaches to health care vary widely, even among the candidates vying for the Republican nomination, although most conservative candidates define themselves in opposition to “Obama Care.” Below is a sampling of each candidate’s views on various health care issues. We take a look at President Barack Obama, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin, all considered to be major players in the upcoming election.
The 2010 health care reforms were considered a major success for President Obama, although the bill did contain some compromises. Obama believes that Americans have the right to health care, but doesn’t believe that the government should mandate that all citizens be insured. He is a proponent of preventative care policies, arguing that investing in prevention now will save money in the future.
Bachmann doesn’t support government-funded health care. As a member of Congress, she has consistently voted against additional funding for federal health care, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Bachmann believes that programs such as Medicare and Medicaid should be dismantled and replaced with a free market system.
Due to Ron Paul’s libertarian political views, he does not support government-funded health care programs or managed care. He supports free-trade solutions to health care and the establishment of private medical savings accounts. Paul has proposed replacing Medicaid with a volunteer pro-bono care system.
Gingrich does not appear to be against all government-funded programs, but he does want to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He wants to move control of health care costs to the state level. Gingrich supports Medicare opt-in private health savings accounts.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a plan that required nearly every citizen to obtain basic health care insurance. However, he has said that he would not implement such a plan on the federal level. He believes that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should be repealed, and supports a free-market system.
As a senator from 1995 to 2007, Santorum voted against expanding government-funded health care programs. He was not a member of Congress when the 2010 health care reform passed, and it is unclear if he is in favor of repealing the bill like many of his fellow Republican party members.
Palin has been a vocal critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and supports a free market solution. As a vice presidential candidate, she supported Senator McCain’s $5,000 tax credit for families who wished to purchase their own health care coverage.