Subscribe

Recent Articles

RSS IP Licensing Law Blog

Tag: presidential election

Presidential Politics: What is the McCain Plan for Healthcare Reform?

Written by on Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

With all the talk by the candidates of reforming healthcare this political season, it is interesting to consider the impact that a win by each candidate will have on the biotech industry.  As this race unfolds, the California Biotech Law Blog intends to follow the positions of the candidates that may have an impact on the industry. 

Robert Goldberg wrote an interesting column this week for Drugwonks and The Weekly Standard  looking at the John McCain healthcare plan, which has received little if any attention by the media.  Goldberg first addresses the plans proposed by the Democratic presidential candidates.   In contrast to McCain, who views the current Veteran’s Health Administration ("VA") as being severely broken, Goldberg explains that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton view the VA is the "starting point for the Democratic plans for universal health care."

Goldberg writes:

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to expand the VA’s electronic health care system to the rest of the country. Obama has promised to spend $50 billion on electronic health records based on the VA model. And Clinton likes to claim credit for that model, which she calls an astounding success. . . .

In fact, as a government audit discovered, the VA’s paperless system has created a huge bottleneck, losing track of 53,000 veterans.. . . according to internal VA audits, 25 percent of all vets wait more than 30 days for their first exam. Of the veterans kept waiting, 27 percent had serious service-connected disabilities, including amputations and chronic problems such as frequent panic attacks. Iraq war vets often have to wait six months for their first appointment. In some VA hospitals, vets wait 18 months for surgeries–a record worse than Canada’s or England’s national health care systems. The VA’s budget for its health care system has doubled since 2001. . . .

In contrast, Goldberg says that the McCain plan "boil[s] down to freedom of choice," explaining as follows:

McCain’s plan is based around patient-centered initiatives that already have broad support among Republicans in Congress. They include letting people buy health insurance nationally instead of only from state-regulated firms; giving people the choice of purchasing coverage through cooperatives or other organizations (churches or civic groups, for example); expanding health savings accounts; and making health insurance portable by giving people tax credits of up to $5,000 per family to buy their own coverage instead of getting it through an employer.

His chief concern is for people to take ownership of their health care. McCain likes to note that "Ronald Reagan said nobody ever washed a rental car. And that’s true in health insurance. If they’re responsible for it, then they will take more care of it." At the heart of McCain’s proposals is his effort to allow veterans, particularly soldiers returning from Iraq with traumatic brain injury and mental illness, to get care anywhere rather than just through the Veterans Health Administration (VA). . . .

It is likely that the McCain’s plan will receive additional scrutiny down the road, as healthcare is likely to continue to play a key role in the election.  However, Goldberg gives us a first glimpse of the McCain position on healthcare reform.  There is little doubt that the candidates have a very different perspective on what that reform might look like. 

But how might the McCain view affect the biotech industry?  Well, all in all, I would argue that the biotech industry would most benefit from the McCain position, since ownership of health care would likely lead patients to pursue the best available treatments, to the extent that they can afford them.  In contrast, the Obama and Clinton positions would increase health care availability for the population as a whole, but would likely limit options and treatment availability and potentially even limit the profitability of the biotech industry as a whole.

The California Biotech Law Blog will continue to look at these issues as further information about the candidates’ positions is revealed.   We welcome comments on these issues from our readers.  What do you think: how would the candidates’ positions on healthcare reform likely affect the biotech industry as a whole?


Category: Biotech Industry News  |  1 Comment

Site search

Topics

Archives

RSS Software Law Blog

RSS Firm Events

© 2008-2018 The Prinz Law Office. All rights reserved.

The Prinz Law Office | Silicon Valley | Los Angeles | Orange County | San Diego | Atlanta | Tel: 1.800.884.2124

Silicon Valley Business Office: 2225 East Bayshore Rd., Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94304: Silicon Valley Mailing Address: 117 Bernal Rd., Suite 70-110, San Jose, CA 95119 Silicon Valley Office: (408) 884-2854 | Los Angeles Office: (310) 907-9218 | Orange County Office: (949)236-6777 | San Diego Office: (619)354-2727 | Atlanta Office: (404)479-2470

Licensed in California and Georgia.

Protected by Security by CleanTalk and CleanTalk Anti-Spam