As I've said before, I don't think these little differences between the candidates add up to that much or are the real reason anyone is voting for them. However, I do feel this one should at least be aired on the blog before Super Tuesday. This column by Paul Krugman pretty well sums it up, but in their model plans, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have rather different approaches to health care. Clinton's plan, which would require everyone to be covered, is closer to John Edwards' original plan. Universally mandated health care coverage is critical in making health care affordable because one reason that rates are so astronomical is because those who are healthy opt out of the system, rather than pay an already expensive monthly fee. The whole purpose of insurance is to spread out risk, so if you have an inordinate number of risky people in the pool, the system stops working. Getting everyone covered--along with assisting those who can't afford insurance and ending the exclusion of those with preexisting conditions--would start the process of bringing down rates and making coverage more affordable.
Now, I'm not sure this matters that much. We all know that none of these model plans will be enacted in their original forms. However, it's late Monday night and I couldn't resist adding this to the difference list.