The Candidates on Health Care

Credit Jeannie Phan

Credit Jeannie Phan

The New York Times, Oct. 2, 2015
The Opinion Pages | Editorial

While the Republican presidential candidates have been busy railing against Obamacare, the two leading contenders for the Democratic nomination have staked out radically different ideas on how to improve the American health care system.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed adding useful consumer protections to the Affordable Care Act. Senator Bernie Sanders wants to create a single-payer system that would essentially expand Medicare to cover people of all ages.

Senator Sanders’s bold call for “a fundamental transformation of the American health care system” would look more like the plans in many other industrialized nations that often achieve better health outcomes at lower costs. His home state of Vermont flirted with the idea, but it dropped its plans because of fears that the high costs would harm the economy. A national program could be more cost-effective, but it has no chance of surmounting opposition from Republicans and from health care industries that fear their profits would be cut.