Since March, Kaiser’s tracking poll on health and the 2008 election has found that health care is a top domestic issue that the public wants presidential candidates to address, trailing only Iraq on the public’s overall priority list. Meanwhile, 41% of adults are personally worried about health care or insurance costs, topping concerns about paying their rent or mortgage, being a victim of a terrorist attack or a violent crime, losing their job, or losing money in the stock market.
Nationally, 45 million Americans do not have any health coverage. And, health insurance premiums are up 87% over the last six years, more than four times the growth in wages, according to the Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey.
“For the first time since the early 1990s, there is a buzz in the air about the potential for a major debate about the future direction of our health care system, and how the issue plays in this presidential election will frame that debate,” said Kaiser President and CEO Drew E. Altman. “With health08.org, we will be there from start to finish with news and video as it happens, analysis of the issues, and tracking of where the public stands.”
Health08.org is easily navigable and has loads of resources. It’s a quick-hit newswire, summarizing and providing links to the latest information from the campaign trail. But it also provides more depth, becoming a clearinghouse for background information on candidates, legislation and polling.
The pages for the individual candidates are possibly the most remarkable parts of the site. They present a one-stop shop for any plans, statements or press releases the candidates have made concerning health care. That includes an already extensive archives of video excerpts from speeches and debates.
Unfortunately, there is no breakdown by sub-topics under the broad subject of health care. Attempting to isolate information about women’s health issues in the campaign is virtually impossible. But for that, there’s always Kaiser’s daily Women’s Health Policy Report, along with the essential-reading section on Women’s Health Policy, which includes regularly updated fact sheets.