Obama vs. McCain: Whose Healthcare Plan Reigns Supreme?
October 28, 2008
Presidential hopefuls, Barack Obama and John McCain, both want healthcare coverage for all Americans, but they have very different ways of going about securing affordable insurance for all. Obama’s plan involves a heavier government hand, including subsidies and coverage of all children. McCain’s plan, on the other hand, relies on individual responsibility.
Which healthcare plan do you think will win over the voters? Check out this overview, and then share your opinion on the discussion board.
Senator Barack Obama – Presumptive Democratic Nominee
Obama’s contention with the current US healthcare system is the lack of coverage for 47 million Americans and the ever-increasing costs of health insurance. In order to combat these trends, Obama plans to initiate “Affordable and Portable Coverage for All.”
• Guaranteed eligibility – No American, regardless of health history, will be turned down.
• Affordable co-pays, deductibles and premiums.
• A benefits package that covers all essential treatments – including mental health and maternity care.
• Those who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP can be provided with federal subsidies to buy into a new public plan or private coverage.
• Ability to move jobs or locations and keep the same insurance (if enrolled in the public plan or the National Health Insurance Exchange).
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• Easy enrollment
• Part of Obama’s plan is the creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange which will help those individuals who want to purchase private insurance plans. This program will monitor insurance companies in order to guarantee affordable insurance for everyone. The Exchange will mandate that all insurance plans are at least as generous as the public health plan. If there are differences between plans, the Exchange will make the differences public.
• Obama’s plan will require that employers make an adequate contribution to their employees’ health coverage. If they refuse, they must contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small businesses will receive a Small Business Health Tax Credit.
• Small Business Health Tax Credit: This credit will be refundable up to 50% on premiums paid by small businesses on behalf of employees.
• Mandatory Coverage of Children: All children must have health coverage.
• Eligibility for Medicaid and SCHIP will be expanded.
• State health plans will not be replaced by the national plan.
A key element of the Obama plan is to lower the cost of health insurance for everyone. He says this can be done by modernizing the system:
• Reduce the cost of major health expenditures by reimbursing employer health plans for a portion of the costs if the savings are used to reduce employees’ premiums.
• Support disease management programs by requiring providers to use disease management programs.
• Encourage team healthcare.
• Full disclosure of quality and cost.
• Ensure providers supply adequate care by promoting patient safety, reward providers based on quality of care, and strengthening anti-trust laws.
• Emphasizing electronic health technology systems.
• Increase competition in insurance and drug markets in order to lower the cost to consumers.
Finally, Obama endeavors to create new initiatives to further the advancement of the healthcare industry:
• Support biomedical research through funding and investment as well improve the efficiency of research by coordinating with the government and other organizations.
• Combat AIDS worldwide through increased investment.
• Strengthen the Americans with Disabilities Act and improve mental health care.
For more information on Senator Obama’s health plan, please visit BarackObama.com.