How Do Obama and McCain Compare on Health Care?

If Senators McCain and Obama can agree on one thing, it's that we need health reform.  While the plans have some commonalities, there are also significant differences.

According to our recent 501 (c)4 report, Health Care and the 2008 Election:  Comparing the Candidates' Positions on Health Care, "Senator McCain offers a radical restructuring of America's health care system" while "Senator Obama's proposal builds on our current system of health coverage, preserving what works and strengthening aspects of the system that need improvement."

For example, McCain's proposal:

Seeks to move Americans from group coverage-especially the employer-based coverage they have today-to individual coverage, so that each individual has to negotiate directly with insurance companies over premium prices and benefits. Senator McCain's proposal also includes tax code changes that will weaken existing employer-based coverage.
Meanwhile, Obama's proposal:
Allows workers to keep the group coverage they now have through their jobs. Employers help 180 million workers and their dependents obtain coverage today, and Senator Obama recognizes the importance of this financial support. His proposal strengthens the employer or group-based insurance system, rather than moving toward individual insurance, since groups have more clout in bargaining for lower premiums and better benefits.
In this analysis, we ask ten important questions about the candidates' plans. For example, will the candidate prohibit insurance companies from "cherry-picking" only the young and healthy? Will the candidate prohibit insurance companies from charging exorbitant premiums to people with pre-existing conditions or family histories of health problems? Will the candidate's plan protect employer-based health coverage?

Find answers to these questions, and more here.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.