by Alyssa Gurkas, Jessica Ciampa
In 2010, President Barack Obama announced a new healthcare bill dubbed by the public as “Obamacare.” This health care reform bill is now a key component of his 2012 election campaign and was designed with American citizens in mind: to provide affordable health insurance for those who already have insurance plans as well as for those who do not have insurance at all.
There are two parts of Obama’s health care reform plans: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care for America Plan, according to obamacarefacts.com.
According to barackobama.com: “Obamacare is making healthcare work better for all of us, even if you already have insurance. It puts the health of your family first—ensuring access to free preventive care and protecting consumers from insurance company abuses.”
In the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, Obama explained that under the PPACA, children can stay on their parents’ health insurance policy until they are 26 years old.
For those who do not have insurance, Obamacare will create a new online system which will help the public get information about the different types of health insurance plans available in their home states. Also, there will be ways to find reduced or free health are by 2014; Obamacare will create a new “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” for those who have pre-existing conditions, according to barackobama.com.
For those who have pre-existing health insurance plans, Obamacare will not replace or take away those plans. Obamacare ensures that no one can be dropped from their insurance plan if they are sick, and it does not allow one’s gender to affect the price of insurance coverage.
According to barackobama.com, “President Obama believes that quality, affordable health insurance you can rely on is a key part of middle-class security. By putting a stop to insurance company abuses, Obamacare is giving millions of Americans peace of mind.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has proposed a health care plan which he says will give most control to the states, promote competition and create a system that ostensibly gives the consumers the power. According tomittromney.com, if elected, Romney plans to issue an executive order that would enable the federal government to issue Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act waivers to all 50 states. He plans to repeal the PPAC as quickly as possible and instead will issue policies that give control to the states. As opposed to the federal government controlling health care, Romney says that it will benefit markets by creating equal competition.
According to his website, Romney also intends to block Medicaid and other payments to states, as well as limit federal standards on private and medicaid insurance. His goal is to ensure economic flexibility to help the uninsured and chronically ill. In addition, Romney has also proposed to offer grants as alternatives to litigation approaches. He said that as a result, states will be able to create laws that are best suited for their own citizens.
Romney said that his plan also includes promoting free markets and fair competition in his plan. In order to do so successfully, he plans to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuit and empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools, which will enable them to bundle the health insurance premiums. By doing so, Romney believes that this competition will jumpstart efficiency and effectiveness, which will in turn offer consumers higher quality goods and services at a lower cost.
Romney also says that he wants to empower consumers to make their own choices. In order to do so, he plans to end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance, allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and enabling funds to be used for insurance premiums. Romney has also said that he wants to promote “co-insurance” products, and alternatives to “fee for service,” according to mittromney.com.