July 19, 2008

LIVE BLOGCAST: Health Care & the Common Good: Solutions (Dean Clancy - Continued)

Obama's Health Care Plan
1. Mandate employer coverage
Subsidize covereage or through payroll tax
2. Expand public coverage
Create a private "Medicare" option to compete with private plans
Would cost 30% less than other insurers and attract 40 million enrollees
Expand Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility
140-150 million people, or about half the US population would be on Medicare or Medicaid
3. Regulate private insurance
Define a minimum basic benefit package
Create a federal health care watchdog called the Exchange.
Mandate coverage of children
Regulate insurers' premiums and profits.

McCain's Health Care Plan
1. Create a voucher-like system for private insurance
Eliminate tax exclusion ($150 billion per year)
Create a refundable health insurance tax credit of $2500 for an individual, $5000 for a family
2. Enhance price competition by permitting purchase of health insurance across state lines
3. Create a Guaranteed Access Plan subsidy for people with pre0existing conditions
Assistance based on income level
Impose "reasonable limits on premiums"
4. Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Obama would grow public programs and control costs through greater regulation and administered pricing
McCain would grow the indivudual market and control costs through greater competition among insurers

Both plans would bring more cost control to the system
Both plans claim to build on the existing system
Bot plans claim to promote affordability and choice
Both plans would almost certainly have the effect of greatly shrinking or eliminating the employer-based system.

Jim Capretta's Four-Point Plan
Cap tax exclulsion, create limited tax credit
Give states regulatory flexibility, with state "exchanges"
Convert Medicare into a form of defined contribution
Implement incrementally

Dean Clancy Additions
Completely relieve states of Medicaid spending burden
Combine Medicare and Medicaid into a single federal program based on poverty and disability rather than age. No more Medicare benefits for millionaires and billionaires.

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