As the 2012 United States of America Presidential Election takes center stage, one contentious issue at the forefront of the campaigns is Health Care and the differences between Obama and Romney’s respective take on this issue. It is a subject that has far-reaching impacts on not only America, but the entire world. While there is an overall consensus that the United States’ health care system is in dire need of reform, there are stark differences between the two presidential contenders when it comes to the scope of the reforms they believe are necessary. In this article, we will take a closer look at the differences between Obama and Romney’s healthcare proposals.
Obama’s Health Care Plans
President Obama has championed plans for comprehensive health care reform since his election in 2008. His primary focus is on affordability and access to healthcare insurance for all citizens, with a major milestone being the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implemented in 2010. The reforms introduced by this act were twofold: one was to expand access to health coverage and the other was to reduce the growth rate of health care costs. It also allows young people to remain under their parents’ health coverage until the age of 26 and expands Medicaid to those whose income is lower than the national average.
Obama also has proposed plans to better control future healthcare costs. He proposes finding more efficient ways to deliver healthcare, as well as encouraging preventative care, to reduce the amount of expensive emergency care needed. He is also pushing for capping out-of-pocket costs, reducing insurance premiums and expanding access to generic drugs.
Romney’s Health Care Plans
Romney’s healthcare proposals are largely a reversal of the changes brought about by the ACA, although he has yet to offer many specifics in terms of what sort of changes he would implement to replace the ACA. What is clear, however, is that Romney rejects the individual mandate provision of the ACA. This is the requirement to purchase health insurance and the penalty imposed for failing to do so. As a result, Romney also wants to repeal non-discriminatory access to health care for those with pre-existing illnesses, as well as the state-run market exchanges.
Romney does offer a few specifics when it comes to health care. He does support the idea of allowing small businesses to pool resources to provide insurance for their employees. He also wants to focus on introducing modern technology and encouraging preventative care, with a view towards curbing healthcare costs in the long run.
The clearest difference between the two parties is their approach to individual mandates. Obama is in favor of the ACA and hence an individual mandate, while Romney is strongly against it. There are also differences in the proposed approaches to cost containment. Obama has proposed controlling future costs by introducing more efficient delivery systems and encourage preventative care, while Romney has focused more on utilizing modern technology and pooling resources for small businesses.
In terms of access to health care, Obama wants to make health insurance coverage more accessible, by expanding Medicaid and allowing young people to remain on their parents’ insurance coverage. Romney, on the other hand, proposes repealing access for those with pre-existing illnesses and does not mention any plans to increase access or reduce costs.
Funding for plans
Another major difference between Obama and Romney’s plans is their approach to funding. Obama wants to increase taxes for those making more than $200k and reduces tax credits for those in the highest income earners. Romney on the other hand wants to reduce funding to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals, which will have a major impact on the quality of healthcare choices available to average citizens.
It’s also worth noting that Obama wants to keep Medicare in its current form, while Romney has proposed transforming it into a voucher system, where the government will give money to seniors to purchase private insurance.
One major consideration when assessing the differences in their healthcare plans is their respective stances on abortion. Obama is against it and believes in women’s rights to choose, while Romney is strongly in favour of laws that would restrict abortion access, as well as requiring insurance companies to stop covering abortion procedures.
The effectiveness of the same healthcare policy can depend on who is in office and how strictly they enforce the rules and regulations, thereby impacting how easily the system can be implemented. Obama and Romney differ in the approaches they may take toward implementing the same policy, which will ultimately effect how successful any healthcare reform will be.
The differences between Obama and Romney’s health care plans could not be more stark. Obama wants to expand access to affordable health care and emphasize preventative care to reduce costs, while Romney wants to repeal the individual mandate, repeal access for those with pre-existing illnesses, and reduce funding in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals. There are also key differences in terms of abortion rights and how they plan on enforcing the same set of policies. Ultimately, the future of the American healthcare system will be determined by who becomes the next President of the United States.
In conclusion, the differences between Obama and Romney’s health care plans extend beyond just their individual mandates and cover a wide range of issues. Obama’s policy focuses on ensuring universal access to affordable health care and promoting preventative care, while Romney’s policy centers around repealing the individual mandate, repealing access to health care for those with pre-existing conditions, and reducing funding to benefit the wealthiest individuals. Understanding the differences between their proposals is critical to making an informed decision when it comes to casting your ballot this November.