Party Platforms Reveal Two Very Different Visions For The Nation

The Democratic platform, which was released Tuesday, includes many health care policy references, but it is light on specifics about what health initiatives would come during a second Obama term.  

The New York Times: Party Platforms Are Poles Apart In Their View Of The Nation
Voters are forever being told that they face stark choices. But the platform that Democrats approved Tuesday at their convention in Charlotte, N.C., was, in areas from social issues to entitlements, a mirror image of the platform that the Republicans adopted last week in Tampa, Fla. … The Democratic platform … reaffirms the party's support for abortion rights. The Republican platform supports the passage of constitutional amendments that would ban abortion. … When it comes to Medicare, the Democratic platform says the party will oppose "any efforts to privatize or voucherize" the program, while the Republican platform would reshape the program for those under 55 so they would get "an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee's choice," including a government plan (Cooper, 9/4).

Los Angeles Times: Party Platforms Often Ignored, But Revealing
In the category of the blindingly obvious, the Democratic document lays out a liberal agenda and the Republicans' a conservative vision. The gap on issues can be yawning, but one thing members of both parties could endorse is this summation from the platform the Democrats released Monday: "This election is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two fundamentally different paths for our country and our families" (Barabak, 9/4).

CQ HealthBeat: Democratic Platform Touts Health Care Law, Offers Few Specifics About Path Ahead
The Democratic Party platform, released Tuesday, asserts that Republicans would repeal the health care law while Democrats are committed to "moving forward." But it offers only generalities as to what would lie ahead for health care in a second Obama term. The platform touts at length the accomplishments of the overhaul with an emphasis on the benefits it creates for women — giving as examples an end to higher insurance premiums for women based on their gender and free preventive services, such as well-woman visits and contraceptive coverage. More is to come as implementation continues, it says (Norman, 9/4).

Medpage Today: Dems Platform Heavy On Health Issues
Healthcare has its own plank in Democratic party platform released here at the national convention -- and helps form a number of others. "We believe accessible, affordable, high quality healthcare is part of the American promise, that Americans should have the security that comes with good healthcare, and that no one should go broke because they get sick," the section on healthcare begins. "Over the determined opposition of Republicans, we enacted landmark reforms that are already helping millions of Americans, and more benefits will come soon." The platform goes on to tout some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are already in place (Frieden, 9/4).

Fox News: Democrats Draw Criticism For Platform Supporting Abortion Without Exceptions
Republicans took a lot of heat for their official platform on abortion, which opposed the procedure without including exceptions for cases of rape, incest or life of the mother. But Democrats are now drawing criticism for their own no-exceptions policy. The official Democratic platform, which was adopted Tuesday, supports a woman's "right" to an abortion in virtually any case. The language in the platform does not include exceptions for partial-birth abortions or other kinds of late-term abortions, nor does it say taxpayer money should not be dedicated for the procedure (9/4).

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