Tag Archives: mccain

More Quotes About Obama from Around the World

More amazing quotes (some hopeful, others frightening) about President-Elect Barrack Obama from around the world, including some from the United Nations, Cuba, Nicaragua, Liberia, Iraq, and Afghanistan:

“This is, I believe, an historic opportunity…I am confident that we can look forward to an era of renewed partnership and a new multilateralism. If ever there were a time for the world to join together, it is now: the global financial crisis; the crisis of climate change; the challenge of fulfilling our promises on the Millennium Development Goals, made more difficult by the twin crises of food and energy prices.” -Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-Genreal, Nov 5 2008, Daily Briefing

“I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.” -Senator John McCain, conceding presidency to Obama night of Nov 5 (full text)

“We believe this is the decision of American voters. We respect their will. But there are many upcoming challenges. We don’t think there will be change in policy overnight. There won’t be quick disengagement here. A great deal is at stake here.” -Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Foreign Minister

“As any successful CEO will tell you, leadership, vision and motivation has far more impact on results than any tax cut or increase.” -Mark Cuban, American billionaire entreprenuer, from Blog Maverick

“If Obama takes some action to ease the embargo, it would be welcomed and of course it would be of help, but we’re prepared for conditions to remain the same.” -Cuba’s Foreign Investment Minister Marta Lomas

“Really it’s a miracle that the United States for the first time in its history has a black president who has shown he is willing to dialogue with Latin American countries and is open to reviewing free trade agreements.” -Nicaraugan President Daniel Ortega

“This is a momentous day not only in the history of the United States of America, but also for us in Kenya. The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success.” -Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki

“All Africans now know that if you persevere, all things are possible.” -Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman elected to head an African country

“The election of Senator Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States has taken the American people and the rest of the world with them into a new era – an era where race, colour and ethnicity, I hope, will also disappear… in politics in the rest of the world.” -Hamid Karzai, Afghan President

For more quotes, including some from Obama’s speech, check out my previous blog entry: Obama’s Victory Speech & Notable Quotes.

Obama & McCain health policies

Jason Shafrin, author of the Healthcare Economist blog, wrote an excellent one-page summary differentiating Obama’s and McCain’s strategies for healthcare reform: http://healthcare-economist.com/2008/08/18/obama-vs-mccain-health-care-policies/. Obama’s government-led plan focuses on creation of larger risk pools and compulsary health insurance for children and young adults. McCain’s plan is based on individual agency and free market principles.

If health is a right, as decided by the World Health Organization, and only governments can provide citizens with real rights, then the government must be involved in ensuring its population has the capability to access a basic package of health services. The healthcare system is fundamentally different than the marketplace, which means consumers interact with the healthcare system very differently. Some of the differences:

  1. Information Monopoly – Consumers cannot easily make informed decisions about what services should be provided or how much they should pay for them.
  2. Emergencies – Most consumers, especially sick ones, don’t have time or the knowledge to navigate the health care system to find the best deal. Obama said it very succintly: “When your child gets sick, you don’t go shopping for the best bargain.”
  3. Insurance Pools – Insurance plans require large subscriber bases to spread risk and share costs. The private, state-specific insurance plans have not been capable of creating large enough pools to bring costs down.
  4. False Competition – The open marketplace forces companies to compete for customers on prices and quality. In healthcare, companies compete for market shares but not in a way that improves quality. Costs are usually lowered at the expense of quality. Consumers will sacrifice on the comprehensiveness of their insurance plan for lowered premiums without realizing that the uncovered services statistically improve population health.
McCain’s plan would increase the number of insurance subscribers, but would also make the system more dependent on consumers understanding of their health needs and more dependent on market principles that simply don’t apply to health care.
Obama’s plan is initially more costly, but it will result in an even greater increase in insurance subscribers (especially among children and young adults), and moves responsibility for population health away from individuals and into the hands of the only entity that can provide basic rights to a population level: government.