February 1st, 2008
12:57 PM ET

Learning from universal health care proposals

I am sure many of you watched the debate last night and noticed that the first 40 minutes (of a 90-minute debate) were all about health care. As a member of the audience, I saw both Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talk about how similar their plans were and the differences as well. As I blogged yesterday, there are some distinctions, which are important for you, the voter, to know.What you may not know is that there was a recent proposal here in California to create a universal health care plan for all Californians. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, along with members of the state Senate had put forward ABX1, which would create a system of universal coverage. Just this week, it was overwhelmingly voted down in the senate health committee by a vote of 7-1.

I find it interesting the two states that put forward concrete universal health care plans, a core Democratic issue, were both led by Republican governors – Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and Schwarzenegger in California. I also wonder if the members of the Senate Health Committee in California looked at the successes and failures of the Massachusetts plans before voting their own plan down. While more people than ever are covered in Massachusetts, the cost overruns have been more than $400 million.

So, here is the question. Looking at these two states, does their history make the argument that universal health care cannot be achieved in the United States or that it can be achieved, but only at the national level? What do you think we have learned about the country from looking at these two states?

– Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent Programming note: Watch "Broken Government: Health Care – Critical Condition" Sunday night at 11 ET on CNN.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Health Care • Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.