Focus Point - Candidates and Health Care

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Presidential candidates are coming out with plans to address health care. Let's start the new year by taking a look at them. Today, Al Gore.

Gore's plan has its moments...well, moment. It gives a tax break to people who have to buy their own insurance, who do not enjoy employer-provided insurance paid by their company. People who buy their own insurance often pay twice as much and use after-tax dollars to do it. Gore would give them a 25 percent tax credit. His plan isn't as efficient as the Armey-Stark proposal in the house, but I'll give him credit for having his heart in the right place.

Then, however, gore goes back to big government. He'd expand Medicare to people 55 to 65, stretching a system already getting ready to implode. He'd expand Medicaid and the children's health insurance program CHIPS. CHIPS sounds good but it is especially wasteful.

It's a program with few takers costing several times more per child insured than a comparable policy in the private sector.

Gore should have stuck with his one good idea.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, we'll see what Bill Bradley thinks.