Candidates answer questions from AHCJ members
The Association of Health Care Journalists, in an effort to assist its members in reporting on the health care platforms of the 2008 presidential candidates, has submitted a questionnaire to each candidate. The questions were chosen from those submitted by AHCJ members. We are posting the candidates' responses on the Web site for AHCJ members to use for their reporting.
Here are the questions that were submitted:
1) Should there be universal insurance coverage in this country?
2) If you believe in universal insurance coverage, how would you achieve it (i.e., employer mandate, individual mandate, single payer)?
3) Should private insurance companies be allowed to choose who they want to insure, taking into account a person's age and health status?
4) If you or someone else in your family has ever been uninsured, what was that experience like?
5) Explain why your approach for reducing the nation's health care costs would succeed.
6) How would you put Medicare on a solid financial footing for the rest of the century?
7) Should the government allow those 55 and older to buy into the Medicare system at their own cost?
8) Will pay-for-performance plans, in which providers are paid based on their quality scores, further stratify the disparity between rich and poor patients?
9) What should the U.S. national policy be for paying for long-term care?
10) What steps should the federal government take to reduce obesity and diabetes, which are looming as the greatest threats to public health?
11) What further steps need to be taken to protect U.S. citizens in the face of a global pandemic?
12) What will you do to ensure that federal agencies are performing research based on scientific models and reporting information objectively on controversial health issues of the day?
13) How would you change the financial incentives in health care to reward improvements in the actual health of patients, rather than linking reimbursements to the number of procedures performed?
14) How can the government narrow health care disparities among ethnic and economic groups and people living in different regions?
15) Who should bear the cost of hospital-acquired infections and medical errors?