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2008 Party Platform Excerpts: Health Care


   

General

Families and individuals should have the option of keeping the coverage they have or choosing from a wide array of health insurance plans, including many private health insurance options and a public plan. Coverage should be made affordable for all Americans with subsidies provided through tax credits and other means.

Health care should be a shared responsibility between employers, workers, insurers, providers and government. All Americans should have coverage they can afford; employers should have incentives to provide coverage to their workers; insurers and providers should ensure high quality affordable care; and the government should ensure that health insurance is affordable and provides meaningful coverage. As affordable coverage is made available, individuals should purchase health insurance and take steps to lead healthy lives.

Pre-existing Conditions

Health insurance plans should accept all applicants and be prohibited from charging different prices based on pre-existing conditions. They should compete on the cost of providing health care and the quality of that care, not on their ability to avoid or over-charge people who are or may get sick.

Portability of Coverage

No one should have to worry about losing health coverage if they change or lose their job.

Mental Health & Addictions Coverage

Families should have health insurance coverage similar to what Members of Congress enjoy… We will finally achieve long-overdue mental health and addiction treatment parity.

Chronic-care and behavioral health management should be assured for all Americans who require care coordination. This includes assistance for those recovering from traumatic, life-altering injuries and illnesses as well as those with mental health and substance use disorders. We should promote additional tobacco and substance abuse prevention.

Federal Research

For the millions of Americans and their families suffering from debilitating physical and emotional effects of disease, time is a precious commodity, and it is running out. …We need to invest in biomedical research and stem cell research, so that we are at the leading edge of prevention and treatment… We will increase funding to the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institutes.

Medications

We should increase competition in the insurance and drug markets; remove some of the cost burden of catastrophic illness from employers and their employees; and lower drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices, permitting importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, creating a generic pathway for biologic drugs, and increasing use of generics in public programs.

 

 

General

Republicans believe all Americans should be able to obtain an affordable health care plan, including a health savings account, which meets their needs and the needs of their families.

Families and health care providers are the key to real reform, not lawyers and bureaucrats.

The current tax system discriminates against individuals who do not receive health care from their employers, gives more generous health tax benefits to upper income employees, and fails to provide every American with the ability to purchase an affordable health care plan. Republicans propose to correct inequities in the current tax code that drive up the number of uninsured and to level the playing field so that individuals who choose a health insurance plan in the individual market face no tax penalty. All Americans should receive the same tax benefit as those who are insured through work, whether through a tax credit or other means.

Pre-existing Conditions

Individuals with pre-existing conditions must be protected; we will help these individuals by building on the experiences of innovative states rather than by creating a new unmanageable federal entitlement.

Portability of Coverage

To empower families, we must make insurance more affordable and more secure, and give employees the option of owning coverage that is not tied to their job. Patients should not have to worry about losing their insurance.

Mental Health & Addictions Coverage

A culture of wellness needs to include the treatment of mental health conditions. We believe all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care, including individuals struggling with mental illness. For this reason, we believe it is important that mental health care be treated equally with physical health care.

Federal Research

We support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical research. This commitment will maintain America's global competitiveness, advance innovative science that can lead to medical breakthroughs, and turn the tide against diseases affecting millions of Americans - diseases that account for the majority of our health care costs.

We call for a major expansion of support for the stem-cell research that now shows amazing promise and offers the greatest hope for scores of diseases - with adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells - without the destruction of embryonic human life.

Parental Rights

Because the family is our basic unit of society, we fully support parental rights to consent to medical treatment for their children including mental health treatment, drug treatment, alcohol treatment, and treatment involving pregnancy, contraceptives and abortion.

 


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