Friday, October 10, 2008
The Los Angeles Times discusses the presidential candidates' health reform plans. Susan Brink writes,
John McCain and Barack Obama's health reform plans are different both in their approaches to solving problems and their potential effects on voters. But to choose wisely, you have to do some homework. To help, we offer a guide to online resources that analyze how well the candidates' proposals might work.
John McCain would . . .Eliminate current tax exclusion for employer-paid health insurance.
Provide refundable tax credits of $2,500 for individuals or $5,000 for families, for everyone who obtains private health insurance -- employed or not. If insurance costs less than the value of the credit, the remaining funds could be deposited in a health savings account.
Provide a variety of insurance choices, national and across state lines, that would not be dependent on a job.Work with state governors to increase insurance pools for people uninsurable on the individual market.
Deregulate insurance markets, allowing insurers to sell across state lines. People could buy less costly, less comprehensive policies in states with fewer mandates.
Pass medical malpractice reform.
For more details, see McCain's full healthcare plan.
Barack Obama would . . .
Require employers (some small businesses would be exempt or subsidized) to either offer health insurance to employees or pay a tax that would be used to help uninsured people get insurance.
Provide subsidies for low-income Americans to help them afford coverage.
Create a new national health plan, similar to Medicare, for the uninsured and small businesses.
Require that all children have health insurance.
Regulate private insurance plans to end risk-rating based on health status -- a system that can render people like cancer survivors or diabetes patients uninsurable.
Establish a federal reinsurance program to protect businesses against the costs of workers' expensive medical episodes.
For more, details see Obama's full healthcare plan.