The Los Angeles Times has a brilliant article on the major flaw of the Republican presidential candidates: they all are based on expanding the individual insurance market. It’s not just the least efficient, most expensive way to get coverage, but in that construct, the individual consumer has the least market power–and thus is able to get denied and discriminated.
Governor Schwarzenegger’s original plan had a similar premise, but at least recognized the need to regulate the insurers to stop denials for “pre-existing conditions.” The Republican presidential candidates can’t bring themselves to do that–which means that McCain, Guiliani, Thompson, all cancer survivors, would all be denied for coverage in their own plans!
The Democratic plans, in contrast, are largely based on expanding group coverage, through public programs, employer-based, or a large purchasing pools. To the extent there’s an individual market, they seek to fix it, and to shrink it. In both cases, cancer survivors like Guiliani, McCain, and Thompson would be assured access to coverage.
Of course, there could always be an exception…