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Arguments mount for a national healthcare system

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US health costs have doubled in the past decade. Yet nearly 48 million Americans have no health insurance. By some health measures, the expensive US health system produces poorer "outcomes" in health than do the cheaper systems in other nations.

In the current campaign season, Senator McCain calls for dozens of reforms to bring down costs and make expenditures more effective in health results. And he states, "we can and must provide access to healthcare for all our citizens." His proposals, though, don't fully embrace the uninsured.

Shannon Brownlee, a senior fellow at the centrist New America Foundation, charges that McCain is "so wedded to the free market that he fails to recognize that there has been market failure" in the healthcare industry.

Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are more ambitious in their proposed reforms than McCain. They both promise, if elected, to provide guaranteed, affordable care for all Americans.

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