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