Saturday, August 09, 2008

Platform draft completed

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Platform Committee finalized a draft of the platform that will be presented to the convention delegates in Denver:

The Democratic Party’s 186-member platform committee just endorsed a draft of the party’s 2008 policy outline at a public meeting today in Pittsburgh, granting several concessions to supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The document will next go before delegates at the party’s convention in Denver for ratification.

The language relating to health care coverage was seen as the biggest coup for the Clinton camp. The issue represented one of her most substantial policy disagreements with Senator Barack Obama. Mrs. Clinton favors mandating universal health care coverage, while Mr. Obama has said that health care should be made affordable enough for everyone to purchase it, but he would not force people to hold it. The platform draft reads:
All Americans should have coverage they can afford; employers should have incentives to provide coverage to their workers; insurers and providers should ensure high quality affordable care; and the government should ensure that health insurance is affordable and provides meaningful coverage. As affordable coverage is made available, individuals should purchase health insurance and take steps to lead healthy lives.
While the expressions of imperative are seen as drawing the platform closer to Mrs. Clinton’s position, some activists had hoped for stronger language that would more strongly emphasize the role of government in providing health insurance. Yet for all of the more than 50 pages this document is written on, a party’s platform is on no way binding on the candidate, and usually no one pays much attention to it as the balloons float to the ceiling.