Health Care and Politics: “NewsHour” Special, New Documentary and New Tools for Voters

By Christine |

Here’s another health care and politics update …

First up, we’ve mentioned Health08.org before, but it is seriously so good it deserves to be spotlighted again — especially now that it includes a new interactive tool that allows users to compare Sen. John McCain’s and Sen. Barack Obama’s “proposals and positions on a range of health care issues not necessarily addressed in the candidates’ health care reform proposals.”

The comparisons — based on information compiled from the candidates’ websites, speeches and campaign debates — cover 15 issues you’re not hearing much about in this campaign, including biomedical research, racial and ethnic disparities, HIV/AIDS/Global Health and women’s health.

Health08.org, created by the Kaiser Family Foundation, is one of the most comprehensive resources you’ll find. Visitors can also view a side-by-side summary of the candidates’ health care proposals and subscribe to the latest election headlines on health care.

In other news, today’s “Morning Edition” looked at the proposed costs of Obama’s health plan and contrasted it with McCain’s. Lots of criticism to go around.

And here’s a PBS television alert that was passed along to us. It looks like an interesting documentary and discussion —

The “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” will host a Commonwealth Fund-supported show, “Rx for Change,” following the premiere of “Critical Condition,” a new documentary that tells the stories of people without health insurance who found themselves losing jobs, their health, their homes, their savings, and even their lives. “Critical Condition” will premiere on PBS stations Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 9 p.m.

To inform viewers about the presidential candidates’ plans to broaden health insurance coverage, the “NewsHour” program will feature a discussion moderated by by Susan Dentzer, editor of the journal Health Affairs and former “NewsHour” health correspondent. The discussion features Neera Tanden, domestic policy director for Senator Barack Obama’s campaign, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior policy advisor to Senator John McCain, as well Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University and Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation.

Check your local listings for additional showings of “Critical Condition.” Related Commonwealth Fund reports include: “Losing Ground: How the Loss of Adequate Health Insurance is Burdening Working Families”; and “How Many Are Underinsured? Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2003 and 2007.”

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One Comment

  1. Margie says:

    I never really understood why health insurance is tied to people’s work. It is awful for people who teach yoga or work in restaurants or freelance writers etc. I would rather see it like car insurance (competitive prices and ala carte). At least insurance companies have changed to make financially fair to married childless couples. You can now do married plus one instead of a whole family. It is not fair that my husband and I would pay family prices without a family. There are many examples of this. Of course, there would have to be some regulations as well to prevent insurance companies from gouging people. Healthy lifestyles (ie:weight etc) should also factor in to prices.