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Monday, February 4, 2008

Wellness and the Candidates

Very few people expect healthcare—much less wellness--to be the main issue that motivates voters tomorrow on Super Tuesday. Most voters say the economy is the number 1 issue as they go to the polls.

But Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are using their differences on healthcare to draw distinctions between themselves in their final campaign push.

The difference, essentially, is this:

  • · Clinton says she is committed to the core Democratic principle of universal healthcare. Her plan mandates everybody have healthcare coverage. Obama’s plan requires coverage only for all children, leaving millions uncovered.
  • · Obama argues that Clinton’s plan will mean people who don’t comply with the mandate will be fined, have their wages garnished, or in some way be punished—not the right way to deal with the uninsured, he says.

What does this difference mean to companies who value wellness and the people who work for them? Not much.

For those in the wellness world, what really matters is that employers have programs to help employees become healthier—regardless of what they think about insurance mandates.

Both candidates pledge support for preventive care and disease management as money-savers, but that's not exactly a compelling issue to make on the stump during the final hours of campaigning. (The same goes for the candidates on the GOP side, with Mike Huckabee speaking most consistently on behalf of wellness and preventive care.)

Meantime, those of you who live in Super Tuesday states, make sure you go out and vote, no matter who you support.

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