Long-awaited, here it is.
I should say in advance that I'm not too interested in the details of the various health care reform plans that the candidates put out. If Hillary (or Barack or Edwards) gets elected, their plan still has to get through the meat grinder of Congress, and will come out looking rather different, presuming anything at all comes out the other side, which is hardly a certainty.
But the health wonk in me just can't resist the urge to peruse the details, which I will justify as perhaps giving some insight into the values and priorities of the candidates. The details are sketchy as yet, but FWIW:
- Continues the system of commercial insurance carriers competing for subscribers (and providers)
- Opens the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan to individuals
- Establishes a "ground floor" for benefits (i.e. FEHBP)
- Requires plans to be community rated (i.e. no "pre-existing condition" exclusion)
- Personal responsibility: individuals are required to purchase insurance
- Tax credits for low-income working families to purchase insurance
- Tax credits for small employers to offer insurance
- Inter-state standardization of insurance regulations
- Appears to be universal
- How will the mandate be implemented (and enforced)?
- Is it really universal?
- What incentive/requirement is there for employers to continue to purchase insurance for employees?
- Does not eliminate Medicaid; universality seems to be based on a patchwork of programs
- Phantom cost-savings ("Over half the savings come from the public savings generated from Hillary Clinton's broader agenda to modernize the heath systems and reduce wasteful health spending" Huh?)
One of these days I'll try to put together a more comprehensive post comparing the details of the candidates' plans.