McCain Vs. Obama On Health Care
By James Donahue
both presidential candidates agree that the American health care system is in critical need of repair, they offer radically
different plans for getting the job done.
John McCain, the Republican nominee, appears to be sticking to GOP principles with a plan that leans heavily on competition
in the open market. He wants states to take a greater role in creating such competition and forming “risk pools”
that insure coverage for the sickest.
is proposing a $2,500 annual tax credit to individuals and $5,000 to families to purchase their own insurance, and doing away
with the tax exemption on employer-provided insurance. Thus he would encourage people to buy their own insurance the free
employers from the heavy cost of providing for workers. He believes insurance companies would have to be more competitive
in this kind of open market.
sick folks who can’t guy affordable insurance in an open market, McCain’s plan calls on states to form risk pools,
or “Guaranteed Access Plans” to provide coverage. He said there could be federal assistance for people who fall
below a certain income level. The plan is estimated to cost about $10 billion a year in reduced tax revenues and subsidized
coverage for the poor. This money would be offset by reduced government payments through Medicare and Medicaid.
Obama plan would be designed to provide affordable, accessible health care for everybody, build on existing health care systems,
and use existing providers, doctors and plans. He wants patients to be able to make health care decisions with their doctors
rather than being blocked by insurance company rules.
Obama’s plan, if you like your current health insurance, you keep what you have with costs going down by as much as
$2,500 a year. If you don’t like your present insurance plan, or if you don’t have health insurance, you will
have a choice of new and affordable insurance options.
Obama plan would require health insurance providers to cover pre-existing conditions, lower costs for businesses providing
coverage for workers, deal with the high cost of malpractice insurance for doctors and establish a National Health Insurance
Exchange with a range of private insurance options plus a new public plan based on the benefits available to members of Congress.
plan also would lower drug costs by allowing increased use of generic drugs in public programs and allowing for the importation
of safe medicines from other countries. Obama calls for hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data
and a reform of the insurance market to increase competition.
plan also would require coverage of preventive services like cancer screenings to promote improved public health.
he will pay the $50 to $65 billion cost of his health care reform by rolling back the Bush tax cuts for Americans earning
more than $250,000 a year and retaining the estate tax at its 2009 level.