We will soon wave away the 8 years of our currency presidency and welcome in another term with someone new. Some might say that the past 8 years have seen America focused on, well, other places than America. As a result, healthcare has been placed on the back burner. But - finally - it's at the forefront!
So now that 3 people are campaigning vigorously for your vote, let's see where THEY stand on health care - so that you might decide where YOU stand!
Universal Healthcare - No (does plan for free healthcare for all children)
What makes him different - wants to rid America of employer driven healthcare and promote each individual/family to purchase private healthcare with the help of tax credits.
"Bringing costs under control is the only way to stop the erosion of affordable health insurance, save Medicare and Medicaid, protect private health benefits for retirees, and allow our companies to effectively compete around the world.
Families should be in charge of their health care dollars and have more control over their care. We can improve health and spend less, while promoting competition on the cost and quality of care, taking better care of our citizens with chronic illness, and promoting prevention that will keep millions of others from ever developing deadly and debilitating disease.
While we reform the system and maintain quality, we can and must provide access to health care for all our citizens - whether temporarily or chronically uninsured, whether living in rural areas with limited services, or whether residing in inner cities where access to physicians is often limited.
America's veterans have fought for our freedom. We should give them freedom to choose to carry their VA dollars to a provider that gives them the timely care at high quality and in the best location.
Controlling health care costs will take fundamental change - nothing short of a complete reform of the culture of our health system and the way we pay for it will suffice. Reforms to federal policy and programs should focus on enhancing quality while controlling costs:
Promote competition throughout the health care system - between providers and among alternative treatments.
Make patients the center of care and give them a larger role in both prevention and care, putting more decisions and responsibility in their hands.
Dedicate federal research on the basis of sound science resulting in greater focus on care and cure of chronic disease.
Promote rapid deployment of 21st century information systems.
Support innovative delivery systems, such as clinics in retail outlets and other ways that provide greater market flexibility in permitting appropriate roles for nurse practitioners, nurses, and doctors.
Where cost-effective, employ telemedicine, and community and mental health clinics in areas where services and providers are limited.
Foster the development of routes for safe, cheaper generic versions of drugs and biologic pharmaceuticals. Develop safety protocols that permit re-importation to keep competition vigorous.
Pass tort reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits and excessive damage awards. Provide a safe harbor for doctors that follow clinical guidelines and adhere to patient safety protocols.
Protect the health care consumer through vigorous enforcement of federal protections against collusion, unfair business actions, and deceptive consumer practices."
"We must do more to take care of ourselves to prevent chronic diseases when possible, and do more to adhere to treatment after we are diagnosed with an illness.
Childhood obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are all on the rise. We must again teach our children about health, nutrition and exercise - vital life information.
Public health initiatives must be undertaken with all our citizens to stem the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and to deter smoking."
For more, please log on to www.JohnMcCain.com
For his voting record on health care, please click here
Universal Healthcare - Yes
What makes her different - has a long standing plan of universal healthcare - wants to make health insurance mandatory, the same way car insurance is.
"The American Health Choices Plan gives Americans the choice to preserve their existing coverage, while offering new choices to those with insurance, to the 47 million people in the United States without insurance, and the tens of millions more at risk of losing coverage.
The Same Choice of Health Plan Options that Members of Congress Receive: Americans can keep their existing coverage or access the same menu of quality private insurance options that their Members of Congress receive through a new Health Choices Menu, established without any new bureaucracy as part of the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). In addition to the broad array of private options that Americans can choose from, they will be offered the choice of a public plan option similar to Medicare.
A Guarantee of Quality Coverage: The new array of choices offered in the Menu will provide benefits at least as good as the typical plan offered to Members of Congress, which includes mental health parity and usually dental coverage.
Reducing Costs: By removing hidden taxes, stressing prevention and a focus on efficiency and modernization, the plan will improve quality and lower costs.
Strengthening Security: The plan ensures that job loss or family illnesses will never lead to a loss of coverage or exorbitant costs.
End to Unfair Health Insurance Discrimination: By creating a level-playing field of insurance rules across states and markets, the plan ensures that no American is denied coverage, refused renewal, unfairly priced out of the market, or forced to pay excessive insurance company premiums.
Insurance and Drug Companies: insurance companies will end discrimination based on pre-existing conditions or expectations of illness and ensure high value for every premium dollar; while drug companies will offer fair prices and accurate information.
Employers: will help financing the system; large employers will be expected to provide health insurance or contribute to the cost of coverage: small businesses will receive a tax credit to continue or begin to offer coverage.
Government: will ensure that health insurance is always affordable and never a crushing burden on any family and will implement reforms to improve quality and lower cost.
Senator Clinton’s plan will:
Provide Tax Relief to Ensure Affordability: Working families will receive a refundable tax credit to help them afford high-quality health coverage.
Limit Premium Payments to a Percentage of Income: The refundable tax credit will be designed to prevent premiums from exceeding a percentage of family income, while maintaining consumer price consciousness in choosing health plans.
Launch a Retiree Health Legacy Initiative: A new tax credit for qualifying private and public retiree health plans will offset a significant portion of catastrophic expenditures, so long as savings are dedicated to workers and competitiveness. "
For more, please log on to www.HillaryClinton.com
For her voting record on healthcare, please click here:
Universal Healthcare - Yes
What makes him different - similar universal healthcare overview as Clinton but does not plan for mandatory coverage.
"Obama's Plan to Cover Uninsured Americans: Obama will make available a new national health plan to all Americans, including the self-employed and small businesses, to buy affordable health coverage that is similar to the plan available to members of Congress. The Obama plan will have the following features:
Guaranteed eligibility. No American will be turned away from any insurance plan because of illness or pre-existing conditions.
Comprehensive benefits. The benefit package will be similar to that offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan members of Congress have. The plan will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental health care.
Affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
Subsidies. Individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but still need financial assistance will receive an income-related federal subsidy to buy into the new public plan or purchase a private health care plan.
National Health Insurance Exchange: The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog group and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible.
Employer Contribution: Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small employers that meet certain revenue thresholds will be exempt.
Mandatory Coverage of Children: Obama will require that all children have health care coverage. Obama will expand the number of options for young adults to get coverage, including allowing young people up to age 25 to continue coverage through their parents' plans.
Tackle disparities in health care. Obama will tackle the root causes of health disparities by addressing differences in access to health coverage and promoting prevention and public health, both of which play a major role in addressing disparities.
Obama will strengthen antitrust laws to prevent insurers from overcharging physicians for their malpractice insurance and will promote new models for addressing errors that improve patient safety, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and reduce the need for malpractice suits.
Obama will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records, and will phase in requirements for full implementation of health IT.
Pharmaceutical companies are selling the exact same drugs in Europe and Canada but charging Americans more than double the price. Obama will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S. Obama will also repeal the ban that prevents the government from negotiating with drug companies, which could result in savings as high as $30 billion.
Support Americans with Disabilities: As a former civil rights lawyer, Barack Obama knows firsthand the importance of strong protections for minority communities in our society. Obama is committed to strengthening and better enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so that future generations of Americans with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities."
For more information, please log on to www.BarackObama.com
For his voting record on healthcare, please click here
I understand that a lot of these candidates' statements and policies sound like typical political rhetoric but it's important to put their promises and plans out there so we can see for ourselves what their proposals are.
Hopefully this summary can help us decide who stands where on health care - and it's up to us to act - and vote - accordingly.