Remember when health insurance
was the big issue in the presidential race? Trudy Lieberman, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, journeyed to the heartland, in this case Helena-West Helena,
to see what people thought about the health insurance plans of John McCain and Barack Obama and to figure out how their plans would affect real people who were uninsured or underinsured in one of the neediest area of the country.
In a six-part series
(the link is now fixed; it is to the sixth part of the series, but links to other articles are at the top of that story) she reports that people know little about the plans beyond catchphrases — British- or Canadian-style socialism, for example — and that neither plan was apt to do much for any of them, except a planter family whose income was high enough to benefit from McCain’s laissez-faire plan to give tax credits for insurance premiums. One of the examples is former state Sen. Kevin Smith, whose shallow group plan leaves him in perpetual debt to the providers. Smith prefers a single-payer system, which sadly is neither candidate’s agenda.