Thursday, October 23

Comparison of McCain and Obama Health Care Plans

"I've made it very clear that what I want is for families to make decisions about their health care, not government..." -- McCain*
  • Coverage would not be mandatory for anyone.
  • Change how health care subsidies are taxed.
  • Offer refundable tax credit for anyone who buys health insurance: $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families.
  • Create a federally subsidized state-administered program to offer coverage for low-income people.
  • Give veterans ability to use their VA benefits to pay for timely high quality care from providers in the best locations.
  • Adopt malpractice reforms that limit frivolous lawsuits and excessive damages and provide safe harbors for practice within clinical guidelines and safety protocols.
  • Promote competition among providers by paying them only for quality and promote use of alternative providers (e.g., nurse practitioners) and treatment settings (e.g., walk-in clinics in retail outlets).
  • Invest in prevention and care of chronic illnesses.
  • Promote competition and individual choice of insurance by allowing insurance to be sold across state lines.

"...We need to pass a plan that lowers every family's premiums, and gives every uninsured American the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves." -- Obama**
  • Coverage would be mandatory for children.·
  • Offer an income-based federal subsidy for people who don't get insurance from an employer or qualify for government plans like Medicaid.
  • Create a national network of public and private plans for those without other access to insurance.
  • Require employers to offer “meaningful” coverage or contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the public plan; small businesses will be exempt from this requirement.
  • Require hospitals and providers to publicly report measures of health care costs and quality.
  • Promote and strengthen public health and prevention.
  • Reform medical malpractice while preserving patient rights by strengthening antitrust laws and promoting new models for addressing physician errors.
  • Prohibit insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Create a new public plan so that small businesses and individuals without access to other public programs or employer-based coverage could purchase insurance. Plan coverage would offer comprehensive benefits similar to those available through FEHBP.
sources:,, Obama. McCain Comparisons



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