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Health Plan vs. Health Plan.

October 12, 2008

Science Daily objectively breaks down both candidates’ proposed health care plans.

Senator Obama proposes to maintain and build on the nation’s current employer and public insurance system and would require employers—except small businesses—to offer coverage to their employees or contribute to the cost. Employers currently provide insurance to more than 160 million people—coverage that would continue under the Obama plan. In addition, Obama would also provide tax credits to small businesses to buy coverage.

Senator McCain proposes a shift away from the current system of employer-based insurance. His proposal would count employer contributions to health insurance as taxable income to workers. He would then use these tax revenues to help finance tax credits—$2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families—which people can use to pay their share of their employers’ plan premiums or to buy a plan on the individual market. However, this change has the potential to reduce the incentive of many employers, particularly smaller ones, to continue to provide health insurance.

The plans are rooted in differing philosophies: Senator Obama’s plan focuses on sharing responsibility for health care coverage among employers, the government, and families, while Senator McCain’s plan aims to place more responsibility for coverage upon families and provide greater portability.

A nice comparison chart is available here.

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