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Obama vs. McCain: Whose Healthcare Plan Reigns Supreme?

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).


Source: Creative Commons

• 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

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    really....? Where is the incentive now to be a hard working American. Insuring hardworking Americans with pre-existing conditions is one issue but giving out free healthcare is another.

  • Steph_and_monica_and_katie_max50


    over 6 years ago


    I personally think neither of these candidates has the right health care plan. I've been reading a lot about Bob Barr recently (Libertarian presidential nominee), and think that he was the closest thing to a good idea. He essentially believes health care should not be in the hands of the government, and people should be able to buy a personal health care plan, or go with their employee provided one.

    For anyone who didn't see McCains side of the issue, it is on the next page :)

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    How about the perdium staff?At many places they work longer and harder than fulltime employees and then they dont qualify for health benefits. I think they are high risk for contracting diseases (if not careful), and Obama's Idea on health reform allows perdium staff as well as EVERYONE to have coverage. McCain wants healthproviders to compete agianst one another. And emphasis on "chronic disease prevention" We in the health care fields know there are hundreds of chronic diseases that are not preventable.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    Where is the information on Sen. McCain's proposed health plan. This article just gives one position for one candidate. Very biased. Individual responsibilty for one's health will have to come in to play, if costs are to be lowered. Whether insured or not, it is an individual decision to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol to excess, over eat with little exercise, causing obesity.

    These actions can all lead to major health complications, which are more expensive to treatl

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    The problem with our country's policy is that it is illegal to drive around without insurance on your car, but perfectly legal to go around without insurance on yourself. Does that make sense? Everyone should have to have health coverage.

    We should all be allowed to pay into Medicaid or some universal plan and get the benefits. I am willing-- willing to pay for good insurance, but no company will give it to me for my daughter. She was born with a hole in her heart. They will not even give us well care for her. So she is out of pocket.

    The SCHIP program? What a joke. I cannot afford to pay the equivalent of a car payment for just one family member each moth. We are self employed, so no group coverage available here. Medicaid? We don't qualify as we are not destitute. Our countries system is set up for failure. It will not help you help yourself.

    My mom is a transplant recipient. She has to make less than $300 a month just to continue receiving her benefits. If she makes more than that the govmt. says she doesn't need their help, except that no one will hire a 57 woman who takes 33 anti rejection pills a day. Even Medicare caps her out at $2000 in medicine. Unfortunately for her, that only takes two months. The AARP is out b/c she hasn't met the age requirement.There are sooo many problems with our system. Oh, if only I could get a hold of one of the candidates and make them really really see.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    I find it amazing that we, as Americans - The Strong Independent Courageous Leaders of the world - feel it necessary for the government to run and give us health care! Our government that we vote in should help us, true - That is what government is there for. To protect. That is what leadership is: To guide and direct. A man or woman with integrity does not need to lean on another man to dole out gifts. It is in our best interest to work hard. When did it flip? Remember JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Obama's system is good, but I've lived with socialist health care. America has no idea what giving the lock and key over to their leaders for their health care will do to them. I think McCain sets the bar not only by limiting the government's involvement, but by limiting people's dependence on other people's banks. Isn't America sick of leaches? We should help the poor, lame and sick, yes - but I can't follow the mentality that we are to feed the lazy....

  • 100_0100_max50


    over 6 years ago


    I liked the article but McCain's plan seems to be a bit vague. It sounds like what we already have. Children should be covered regardless. The next few months will tell alot about both men.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    Whatever the choice Obama or McCain the escalation of healthcare costs will continue. By providing insurance to everyone usage will skyrocket .Massachusetts is a prime example where costs quickly outpaced budgets. To provide either plan will require more taxes, higher deductibles, higher premiums, etc. The costs will escalate every year. I have never seen my insurance premiums go down, nor my deductibles. My taxes continue to go up. More demand equals more costs. Possibly even rationing of care in the future or longer wait times for elective procedures. All the ideas in the two proposals are just political posturing at this time. The USA has an outrageous debt problem both in government and individually . Taxes whether we like to believe it or not have to pay the costs. That will include the costs for either the Obama or McCain plans. "Martini" is right about getting any of this through Congress.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    This year isn’t and won’t be more of an “eeny, meeny, mineey, mo choice”. A vote for
    McCain is a vote for the bunch behind Bush – “The Vulcan’s” as they call themselves.
    Obama is a new voice. Hopefully, some sort of healthcare system will be put in place.
    As far as asking about the adequacy of Obama’s plan, any sort of adequate would have been acceptable to me during an attack or re-triggering of a long dormant asthma I recently experienced. I am still waiting to see my doctor, and yes we have health insurance through my husband’s employer. The girl at the desk in the doc’s office said, “ya gotta do what ya gotta do”, when I told her I was really sick (I could barely talk) and was taking singular donated by friends and family. I didn't want to go to the ER, and all I really needed was a prescription.
    It always amazes me when people scream “big government”, or “police state” during
    health care debates. No seems to object to the DEA, ATF, FBI, or for that matter
    IRS, breaking down the wrong doors; or, detaining people without due process.
    We already do have something of a police state. Also, the U.S. is more of a federalist
    state than a democracy – a fact that was once again driven home during the 2000 elections.

  • Photo_40_max50


    over 6 years ago


    i don't know if I'm looking hard enough, but I can't find anything on this page about the mccain health plan. If his plan is in fact to tell america to buy insurance, then I wouldn't take him too seriously. But government involvement in medicine wouldn't be a completely horrible thing. Of course we have to worry about corruption and all that entails, but not everything run by the government is corrupt. We can check out books for free at the library and that's regulated by the government and there aren't any strong political stances on that subject on either party lines. Public schools are regulated by the government, but children are still sent there and receive an education nonetheless. As long as americans can get affordable healthcare without any red tape or fine print loopholes that keep them in debt for the rest of their lives and keeping them away from life saving medical help, I would personally approve of that. But maybe a major focus shouldn't be finding new ways and more money to treat an already sick and ailing society, but should begin a growing awareness of preventative medicine and healthy lifestyle and dietary measures. Why can't we emphasize staying healthy instead of taking pills to fix conditions which could be treated and maybe reversed by an active lifestyle? I'm not saying we should forget about those who are sick, but instead that we should broaden the scope of our health awareness to treat the sick and prevent the relatively healthy from acquiring the same conditions before it's too late. Revamping the presidential fitness test maybe?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    After having had a husband on a SCHIP program and paying 500/month and having a 5000deductible, I am sure not in favor of programs like that. However, on the other hand, can you tell me that everyone is going to sign up for insurance even if it is affordable? I don't think the government should be involved in our private lives all the time. It is the Big Brother approach. I don't think either candidate has given us enough information to make a complete decision. Also, who can say that Congress is going to let either proposal go through?
    I hope that whoever wins will follow through and give insurance to all. We all work in the medical profession and we all know how the government takes and takes. It is time for it to give and give.

  • 1astt3mp1ar_max50


    over 6 years ago


    It is just a matter of choice between a "police-state"or a "providence-state".
    Health care, is about care, not business.
    we are all paying for medicare, and we ain't getting nothing back.
    Medicare is already forced on everyone, go ahead raise the rates up to 10%, and make the medicare plan unbeatable on quality of coverage, and you will see, everyone will be choosing medicare.
    I have only one finger to give to the politics.
    I'm already so angry to have to pay for it and getting nothing from it.
    I have to add this.
    You gotta be foolish to be satisfied with an insurance that tell : "Face it, ya illiterate dummy, you can't have the right to have this medicare or this procedure because your plan doesn't allow you to have this right. So DIE, we only CARE ABOUT YOUR $$$$$$ MONEY".
    You gotta love that kind of deal. Get mug by your health insurance. You got to be totally sadomasochistic to love this. Right ? lol !!
    The US government don't care about Americans, so shut up, die, cry like sissies, it is not the business of the USA. This government prefer to let you die the way you want.
    Be happy if the soviets decide to come from the closet, you also have ducked tape to protect yourself. How good is that ? Health care in the USA, loose your legs, put a bandage. You need surgery, just buy a knife and do it yourself. Oh, look at that poor man, he can lift his arms up because he got tortured by some crazy Viet-Kong, it's OK, we can say e won't surrender.LOL!!!!CHECK THIS OUT : "Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, instead beating and interrogating him to get information, and he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral. His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers." It would be really a good thing to remember Mister Mc Cain today : "Howdy, Idiot, you want your own people the Americans to be treated like POW.??" huh, tell us the truth ? McCain spent six weeks in the hospital while receiving marginal care. Tell us Johny what is your healthcare plan ? He was subjected to rope bindings and repeated beatings every two hours, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery. Further injuries led to the beginning of a suicide attempt, which was stopped by guards. Suicide is this the plan to better health care ?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    To be honest...I really feel like each of them are going to tell America what "we" want to hear. How can we as a whole be confident that what is promised in healthcare reform will really occur anyway??? I am so done with the government. I will still vote (just so I can bitch), but this year it will be more of a eeny, meeny, mineey, mo choice!

  • Photo_39_max50


    over 6 years ago


    "What bothers me about Obama's plan is the government involved even further into our lives. " Damazement, this about Obama's plan bothers me much more. I'm for allowing capitalism to thrive and using the free market economy, so that competition drive prices down under Senator McCain's plan.

    "Ensure providers supply adequate care by promoting patient safety". I don't want ADEQUATE care. In this great nation, there is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water and settle for ADEQUATE care.

    Another 'adequate' statement (AND WHO'LL SAY WHAT 'ADEQUATE' IS?): Obama’s plan will require that employers make an adequate contribution to their employees’ health coverage.

    "AFFORDABLE co-pays, deductibles and premiums." Who says what is affordable and what isn't?

    But the biggest 2 problems I see are that we need relief NOW and implementation of Obama's plan can take years. And the encroachemt into my life by a government made even bigger. Our forefathers didn't want a BIG government; that's one thing they were trying to escape!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    I don't like government involvement in anything. Anyone that has worked at a SNF should understand the complicated hoops medicare already has it's insured jumping through. One big HMO, won't that be fun.

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