Political 'experience' will prevail, say readers

Sunday, September 28, 2008

WASHINGTON - If it were up to the HME industry, Sen. John McCain would win the 2008 presidential election by a margin of nearly 2:1, according to an HME Newspoll.

Of 614 respondents, 353 or 59% will vote for McCain on Nov. 4. Sen. Barack Obama received 180 or 30% of votes. The remaining 11% were undecided.

"I like the idea of having someone with experience who has proven himself," said a McCain supporter. "I am not looking for perfection, just accountability and reliability."

While McCain's experience was a deciding factor for many respondents, others think it's time for a change.

"Historic moments of needed change do not begin and end with a single individual, but with the participation of all citizens," said one New York provider. "I believe Obama has the type of strength, intelligence, judgment and integrity to be the transformative leader that can inspire this movement."

Asked who would be the better steward of the Medicare program, providers were nearly evenly split, with 51% saying Republicans and 49% saying Democrats.

"I believe only a Democrat can make the difficult choices to repair the damage done and prepare for the near future when baby boomers hit Medicare and Social Security," said one respondent. "The Democrats want to expand health care to cover everyone, most likely with a universal payer, which makes the most sense."

Counters another: "The future of the country depends on getting government out of the business of people. We have become a nanny state and it will be our ruin. I would much rather run my business without the entitlement programs and let the free market forces work."

When ranking what influenced their votes, the economy topped the list for two-thirds of poll respondents. Health care ranked second, with 21% of the votes, and the Iraq war placed a distant third, with 13%.

Health care and the economy are closely intertwined for some respondents.

"The Democrats are more generous with benefits, which is good for business in the short run," said Lori Sears, owner of Active Home Medical Supply in Lapeer, Mich. "But the overall health, safety and well-being of our country matters more in the long run."

Providers voting for Obama say they, too, are focused on the long-term.

"The last eight years of a Republican-controlled Congress has nearly destroyed the American healthcare system," said a provider who is voting Democrat for the first time in 30 years. "Their focus has only been on cost control, without regard for consequences."