Comparing the Candidates' Health Care Proposals

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • With the election drawing nearer, it is important for the American people to understand what each candidate is offering as changes to a broken health care system in the United States.


    Today, health care costs are continuing to move upward. Each year, more and more of paychecks are going toward health costs. Over 47 million people in the U.S. go without health insurance. Those with health insurance often have higher deductibles than in years past and are putting more and more of their paychecks toward paying medical bills.


    The two health care proposals offered by the two candidates are very different.

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    John McCain's plan relies heavily on free market and the main premise is that by introducing and developing competition and choice, premiums will decrease and benefits will increase. This plan proposes to move from employer based heath insurance to individual insurance in order to increase the competition.


    Barack Obama's plan, on the other hand, provides for government intervention. His plan calls for a combination of employer based insurance, a national plan and a national insurance exchange.


    Both plans have both pros and cons. Both plans will cost additional money, one analyst indicated that although Barack Obama's plan will cost substantially more initially, over ten years, both plans will cost approximately the same. However, John McCain's plan will only reduce the number of uninsured by 5% where Barack Obama's plan will reduce it by 50% over the same time period.


    Both plans talk about increasing cost-containment strategies such as better use of technology for medical records, allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and encouraging preventive medicine to decrease major illnesses. According to a number of analysts, these are all issues that may decrease costs a small degree but will not be a major force in reducing costs.


    For those that believe in free market, John McCain offers the best choice. This plan works on the premise of individual responsibility and competition. Competition, according to his plan, will help to drive down the cost of premiums, making health insurance more accessible.


    For those that believe the government should work to help everyone in America have access to health care, Barack Obama's plan would be the best choice. It works on the premise that affordable health care should be accessible to all.


    An outline of both plans, including pros and cons on each can be found here:


    John McCain's Health Care Proposal

    Barack Obama's Health Care Proposal


    What do you think?

Published On: September 07, 2008