Health care questions for the Presidential debate

Tomorrow’s night’s Presidential debate is devoted to domestic policy, so health care should be front and center. I know it’s too much to ask, but I’d like to hear the candidates address important health care issues at the next level of detail so that the American people have a better chance to become more informed about the issues and where the candidates stand.

Here are three suggestions for moderator, Jim Lehrer:

  1. How would you address the issue of patients with pre-existing conditions? Is it ok for insurers to charge more or exclude people on this basis? If Medicare vouchers are introduced, should sicker people receive larger vouchers? Can this issue be addressed without mandated coverage? How can distortions to the insurance market be addressed while still allowing people with pre-existing conditions to obtain affordable coverage? What financial responsibility, if any, would you place on individuals for their pre-existing conditions and if so how much and how would such a policy be implemented?
  2. How should the delivery system (as opposed to the financing system) evolve as part of health care reform? Do hospitals and physicians need to change the way they operate? Who should be primarily responsible for driving change? Providers themselves? Federal government? State government? Employers? Health plans? Individuals? How should this be done?
  3. Can we afford to exempt everyone over 55 from changes to the Medicare system? Do we need to make major changes to Medicare? If so, what is the justification for delaying all change for 10 years and then phasing changes in gradually?
October 2, 2012

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