Where the Candidates Stand

Published on: 
CURE, Winter 2007, Volume 6, Issue 6

Highlights of the 2008 Presidential candidates’ positions on healthcare.

Here are some highlights of the 2008 presidential candidates’ positions on healthcare:

Joe Biden

>[Democratic senator from Delaware] Expand health insurance, particularly for kids, and catastrophic insurance for everyone; create electronic records.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

> [Democratic senator from New York] Create universal healthcare via universal health insurance; modernize healthcare infrastructure; revise medical malpractice system; create large insurance pools for citizens to buy into; focus on prevention.

Chris Dodd

[Democratic senator from Connecticut] Create universal healthcare subsidized by government and businesses; focus on prevention; extend Medicaid coverage; create electronic medical records.


John Edwards

> [Former Democratic senator from North Carolina] Supports universal healthcare; require businesses to offer/finance insurance; create tax credits; expand Medicaid; reform insurance laws.

Rudy Giuliani

> [Former Republican mayor of New York City] Use a market-based healthcare model; make private insurance affordable through tax deductions; “make like home/car insurance.”

> Mike Gravel [Former Democratic senator from Alaska] Create universal healthcare voucher program, with federal vouchers given to each American based on projected needs; the ability to choose own doctor; no “insurance” but all covered; slowly phase out Medicare.

Reform medical liability; adopt electronic medical records; expand health savings accounts to everyone; make insurance portable; make insurance tax deductible; market-based healthcare; focus on prevention.

> Mike Huckabee [former Republican governor of Arkansas]

[Republican representative from California] Use a market-based healthcare model; opposes government-subsidized universal healthcare.

> Duncan Hunter

[Democratic representative from Ohio] Use a single-payer, not-for-profit health system; emphasize prevention, including prescription drugs, dental care, mental healthcare, and alternative and complementary medicine.

> Dennis Kucinich

[Republican senator from Arizona] Create non-mandatory affordable healthcare; expand current programs (Medicare/State Children’s Health Insurance Program, SCHIP); reform medical malpractice; create electronic records; add tax incentives for insurance.

> John McCain

Barack Obama

[Democratic senator from Illinois] Create national health plan with low prices and guaranteed eligibility; create national health insurance exchange to regulate private health insurance; supports mandatory coverage for children; create electronic records; limit insurance companies’ profit margins.


[Republican representative from Texas] Opposes federally mandated health insurance; use market-based healthcare; create full healthcare deductions from taxes.

> Ron Paul

[Democratic governor of New Mexico] Open up existing sources of federal insurance coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, SCHIP); create refundable tax credit based on income; pass Medical Borrower’s Fairness Act for immediate relief to families who borrow money to pay for healthcare; require everyone to get government and business-subsidized insurance; focus on prevention.

> Bill Richardson

[Republican former governor of Massachusetts] Extend insurance to everyone via market reforms; use state-maintained, market-based healthcare model; require insurance for all; eliminate Medicare in favor of a totally private system.

> Mitt Romney

[Republican representative from Colorado] Use tort reform and immigration enforcement to lower costs; create association health plans to group small businesses for lower insurance rates; introduce a federal program for the uninsured, possibly with federal incentives/limited subsidies; use a market-based healthcare model.

> Tom Tancredo

[Former Republican senator from Tennessee] Opposes new healthcare mandates

> Fred Thompson

Sources include The New York Times, The Washington Post and candidate websites.