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Health Care: John McCain vs Barack Obama

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posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 05:57 PM
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As the 2008 elections approach us, one of the most visible issues on the political horizon is health care. As it stands today, there are approximately 50 million Americans without health care, which is about 1 of every 6 people.

Both candidates have outlined their vision for a revised health care system. Here is a summary of their plans, followed by a brief discussion of them. The source is the website of the Health Insurance Carriers.

Barack Obama’s Health Care Policy


Barack Obama’s plan for better health care in America is to provide quality, affordable and portable coverage for all. He plans to make available a new national health plan to all U.S. citizens, which will include the self-employed and small businesses. Some of the features his plan include:

* Guaranteed Eligibility. This will allow sick people (with recent and pre-existing conditions) to obtain health care.
* Comprehensive Benefits. This is similar to the package offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. It will cover all necessary medical services, which include preventive, maternity and mental health care.
* Affordability. There will be lower premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
* Simpler paperwork and reined in health costs.
* Public Plan with simple enrollment and ready access to coverage.
* Portability and Choice. People enrolled in the new public plan and the National Health Insurance Exchange (another Obama plan) will be able to move from job to job without jeopardizing insurance coverage.
* Quality and Efficiency. The health insurance companies participating in the new plan will be required to report data to ensure that standards for quality are met.



John McCain’s Health Care Plan



John McCain intends to increase the variety and affordability of health insurance to families in America by fostering innovation and competition.

This is how he plans to do so:

* By reforming tax code to eliminate the bias toward employer-sponsored health coverage and providing everyone with a $2,500 tax credit; families will receive $5,000. This will increase incentives for health care coverage.
* Allowing families to purchase health care insurance nationwide to maximize choices and heighten competition.
* Providing multi-year coverage that moves with you from job to job and from home to home.
* Requiring states with Medicaid to develop a financial risk adjustment bonus to high-cost and low income families that will supplement tax credits and funds for Medicaid.
* Allowing people to purchase insurance through any organization or association of choice (i.e. churches, employers, individual purchases, and professional associations). The policy chosen will be available to small businesses and the self-employed; and will be portable across jobs. It will also automatically bridge the time between Medicare eligibility and retirement. Certification and rigorous standards would have to be met before plans are approved.


Differences Between the Presidential Candidates’ Plans



Another difference between the two senators’ plans: Barack Obama is looking to rely mostly on the heavy hand of the government and will impose caps on health care premiums and price controls on drug companies. He would then have the government establish national practice standards for health providers and doctors. The National Health Insurance Exchange, another plan he wants to create, will act as a sort of clearinghouse to make it easier for individuals and businesses to shop around for the best health care.

On the other hand, John McCain is looking to attempt promotion of greater competition among health insurance companies, allowing rates to fall from the growing competition across state lines (without any use of the government’s power). The purpose of the plan is allow freedom of choice and puts Americans in the position to insist on lower costs for higher quality, just as we do with any other product or service we purchase.

health-insurance-carriers.com...

In a nutshell, both plans have good points and drawbacks. But in the end, it comes down to the ultimate question: how will we pay for it? Obama's plan leans toward socialized medicine with heavy gov't involvement, while McCain proposes using the power of competition to make health care affordable.




posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 06:01 PM
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A star for you because you made a thread on the issues rather than one of the hysterical propaganda threads so common in this Forum.

To the topic: I´d recommend both McCain and Obama check out how its already succesfully done in European countries.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 06:22 PM
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Thank you for making an issues based thread, on the surface both plans look like they will help, but that is to be expected in an election year.

My leanings are away from the government handling healthcare, I have not seen them handle very much within their control so I am naturally skeptical that any plan (good or bad), could be successfully implemented let alone managed by the government.

I do like the guarantees of coverage for those who might not be able to afford it, and I do think that changes in employment status should not* render your coverage obsolete, regardless of where you work, you should have the option of continuing with the program with which you are enrolled.

The MAJOR part missing IMO, is what each candidate plans to do about the frivilous litigation that has skyrocketed healthcare costs? In order to insure that Americans receive affordable healthcare, it is important to tackle this problem.



*forgot this KEY word


[edit on 7/21/2008 by JacKatMtn]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 07:13 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
To the topic: I´d recommend both McCain and Obama check out how its already succesfully done in European countries.


As a matter of fact, many experts are suggesting some sort of hybrid plan between the two candidates. Nationalized healthcare is an automatic no-no to many, but it does address several key issues of affordability and high-risk patients.


Originally posted by JacKatMtn
The MAJOR part missing IMO, is what each candidate plans to do about the frivilous litigation that has skyrocketed healthcare costs? In order to insure that Americans receive affordable healthcare, it is important to tackle this problem.


Agreed. We can thank our greedy Congress for lack of progress on that issue.

Bush has been an advocate of lawsuit reform for years:


President Bush has campaigned for lawsuit reform since his days as Texas governor. As president, he has made little headway on the issue in Congress. He’s been thwarted by Democrats every time he’s tried to tackle the issue head-on.

Turns out there was another way, one little-noticed step at a time.


www2.ljworld.com...

One of the first questions that comes to mind when discussing health care, is the cost. How much will it cost, and how will we pay for it?

There is a big difference between the candidates in this regard. Obama has answers: it will cost between $50 and $65 billion, and will be funded by the monies recovered from not extending the Bush tax cuts when they expire.


Mr. Obama recommends paying for his proposal — his is modeled after the plan that covers federal employees — in part by using the tax revenue that would be recouped if President Bush’s tax cuts expired. (His campaign released estimates that an additional $50 billion to $65 billion in revenue would be needed, releasing research by the Urban/Brookings Tax Policy Center on how the money could raised through imposing higher taxes on people in the top income brackets. ) Update: See more on the cost implications below.


thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com...

It is much more difficult to put a price tag on McCain's plan, however, since he proposes a system of what amounts to "healthcare vouchers" of $2500 per individual and $5000 per family. Another drawback to McCain's plan is that he does not directly address the issue of high-risk individuals and those with serious pre-existing conditions. This segment has always been challenged to find affordable health care.

McCain, however should be given credit for acknowledging the current problems in the employer-supplied healthcare system - consumers with choices. We are pretty much stuck with what our employer gives us as choices.


Before turning to what is wrong with McCain's idea, at least give him credit for seeing that the employer-based approach is central to the problem. The plans proposed by Democrats Clinton and Barack Obama both affirm the employer's role while also broadening coverage. Employer-based insurance not only neuters the forces that would otherwise press down on costs, it also locks workers into jobs that they otherwise might not want and multiplies the sense of insecurity that so many Americans complain of lately. If you lose your job, your health insurance is at risk as well. Thrown on your own resources under the current system, you might not be able to find affordable insurance, so a medical emergency may often mean financial ruin. McCain's voucher-like approach tries to address this--partially, at any rate.

And that is the problem. His proposal would widen access to health insurance and make insurance much more portable from job to job, but it would fall way short of providing universal coverage. Even with his proposed tax credit, many millions of bad-risk individuals--including those with pre-existing conditions--would find it impossible to afford coverage. Younger and healthier workers would have an incentive to opt out of employer plans in favor of cheaper alternatives, a step that would raise premiums for those left behind.


www.nationaljournal.com...



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 12:38 PM
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Thanks for a GREAT thread- I have to admit, Im no Obama fan, but am leaning toward him because of his health care plan. I dont think any citizen (yes I said citizen) in this country should be without health care for any reason, should it be unemployment, health issues, how much money they have, etc....

I will vote for the better health plan over all other issues. I know we have other problems in this country, but will all our technology and knowledge, one of them should not be people dying just because they dont have a health insurance card.



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 02:16 PM
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Starred and Flagged because it's about the issues, it's an important subject and your presentation was great.


As you stated, both plans have good and bad points. If healthcare were more affordable, more people would have it. So how to get the price down? I'm not sure, except for government intervention.

I like Obama's plan. Perhaps as a temporary measure until healthcare reform can make it possible to go to a plan more like McCain's. That would be my ideal.

My husband and I both worked and had insurance coverage for many years. During that time I got cancer. Now I am a person with a pre-existing condition, even though I no longer have cancer. Healthcare for me is outrageously expensive.

During a job change, we lost insurance and the cost was prohibitive for me at the new job. I determined that I would go without out it rather than pay the insane premiums (for someone with a PE condition). We had to pay for a fairly simple medical operation while without insurance and it was INSANE! Over 10K. But still cheaper than the premiums would have been for the time period. Most people can't afford that.

Something is very wrong when a tissue costs $2 in the hospital. The healthcare costs need to be reined in.

People with illnesses and pre-existing conditions are the ones who need health care.

Under John McCain's plan, people would still be without insurance. Good, hard-working, responsible people who simply could not afford to have insurance AND send their kids to college or save for their future.

I am for small government. And if the healthcare industry had not become a corporation, whose ultimate goal is to make money from sick people, rather than take care of the people, then I would prefer McCain's plan. But, since greed is driving not only the medical providers, but the pharmaceutical companies as well as the legal profession, I don't feel I could trust it to just all work out so that everyone could afford it. McCain would have a hard time implementing some of his points, I think.

I believe that insurance is one of the biggest scams of our time. I'd like to do without it altogether. If healthcare was affordable, we wouldn't need it except for the poor. The reason we need insurance is because only the very wealthy can afford to pay for their medical care on their own. Insurance is the fear-mongering middle man.

So, that's why, in this case, I think we need government intervention and regulation. At least for now.



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 03:07 PM
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Neither side has a plan to address sky-high drug costs. I would propose a system similar to Canada's where the prices are capped in exchange for longer patent protection.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by sardion2000
 



The biggest objection to Americans adopting a Canadian or European-type plan are the long wait lists. Americans wouldn't stand for that.



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