Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just how different are McCain and Obama's Health Care Plans

Today I was looking at each of the candidate's own sites to get a better picture of their stand on the issues. It was interesting to see some of the similarities and differences, but the Health issue is a big one for me as a two time cancer survivor.

So to begin, here are where the two agree.

Problem: Both candidates agree that health costs have risen significantly and that we have too many Americans who are underinsured or not insured at all.

Objectives of Health Plan: Both candidates want to have health care available to all, with no conditions set. Both plans want health insurance to be portable, soften the load on pre existing conditions, and lower drug prices. They also would show support for small businesses, and implement technology more efficiently. They both allow the state flexibility and want medical liability reform.

There are a few differences in each of their plans.

In general, Obama goes into more detail about the benefits and support of his plan.

Obama would make it so no American would be turned away from ANY INSURANCE PLAN due to illness or preexisting conditions. This is important to me since Callie and I both have gone through alot of medical care in our lives and would be lost if we couldn't get coverage due to any pre-existing conditions they deem pertinent.

John McCain says he would, "work with governors to develop a best practice model that states can follow - a Guaranteed Access Plan or GAP - that would reflect the best experience of the states to ensure these patients have access to health coverage. One approach would establish a nonprofit corporation that would contract with insurers to cover patients who have been denied insurance and could join with other state plans to enlarge pools and lower overhead costs." So under his plan it would ultimately come down the the state whether we would get accepted or not.

Obama would implement his plan in a similar way Congress already gets their health coverage. Alot of people think this means everyone would get free coverage, but several will still pay premiums, deductibles, and copays. Under his plan they would be more affordable.

John McCain's plan is not specific. He lists similar objectives as Obama for health care but doesn't explain how he'll do that. As far as action he just says, "An important part of his plan is to use competition to improve the quality of health insurance with greater variety to match people's needs, lower prices, and portability." One of the problems with this is the current lack of competition in health care. Two companies dominate one third of the national market (“Statement of the American Medical Association to the Senate Committee on the Judicary, United States Senate”(September 6, 2006). Testimony.) In addition there have been over 400 mergers in the last 10 years.

McCain plans on paying for his plan by taxing the individuals instead of the buinesses on the value of the health insurance.

Obama will pay for his plan by rolling back the Bush tax cuts for Americans earning more than $250,000 per year and retaining the estate tax at its 2009 level

Another difference is how Obama plans to move the health care standard up from keeping medical records on paper to putting them in electronically. He also will allow Americans to buy Perscription Drugs from outside the country if they are safe and cheaper.

In general, Obama is allowing Americans a cheaper and guaranteed form of Health Insurance for all Americans that will not tax us unless we make over $250,000 a year. John McCain wants us to be able to find our own insurance and will make it so even those who currently have trouble will get help.

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