Alex Blaze

Health care, schmealth care: What the candidates are getting for themselves

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 15, 2008 10:57 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: health care reform, presidential politics

NPR has a great report up about the presidential candidates' and their personal health insurance. Interesting, as we can tell about people's values from the space between what they tell others to put up with and what they get for themselves.

Obama, Kucinich, Hunter, Paul, and McCain are all on the government employees plan, with McCain's being supplemented by his wife's insurance. Clinton gets hers through the same program, although she's technically enrolled as a former first lady. Edwards gets coverage for himself and his family through the campaign on Blue Cross.

The other top Republicans won't disclose:

And when asked how the candidates get health insurance for themselves, the campaigns of Giuliani, former Sen. Fred Thompson (TN), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) wouldn't divulge details. It's worth noting that, as a resident of Massachusetts, Romney is required by law — a law which he helped pass — to at least have health coverage.

Romney was the only one who wouldn't even return phone calls or emails.

Giuliani became ill recently and had to be hospitalized (meaning that he either has some sort of care... or just a bunch of money in the bank to pay the bills). He and several of the others are cancer survivors:

That's because Giuliani and Thompson are, like McCain, cancer survivors. And in the individual health-insurance market, says Moon, at least under current rules, people who have had cancer or another serious disease often can't buy health insurance at any price.

"Having the money to pay for a plan is not enough. You also have to be able to get a plan if you have a history of health problems," she says.

Of course, Giuliani and Thompson are both stinkin' rich. Thompson, while he wouldn't disclose, probably gets insurance through his other job as an actor. Ironic, if true, how a Republican presidential candidate gets quality health care through his powerful union.

When it comes to their campaign staff, Clinton, Edwards, and Obama all provide health insurance. Kucinich doesn't and attributes it to a lack of funds.

McCain does, on the Republican side, Hunter and Paul don't due to their volunteer staffs (although Paul has raised about as much cash as McCain). The other Republicans wouldn't disclose.


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Thompson, while he wouldn't disclose, probably gets insurance through his other job as an actor. Ironic, if true, how a Republican presidential candidate gets quality health care through his powerful union.

That's too damn funny. I can imagine it now.

I heard this on the way to work this morning. It is definitely food for thought.

Politicians should have to suffer with the same type of health care we do, and get paid a moderate salary and benefits. That would ensure they were there to actually serve "we the people" (which is their job, after all) instead of their own agendas.