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.

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