Care to compare

Here's a look at the candidates' health reform plans

Election 2008

October 20, 2008|By Susan Brink | Susan Brink,Los Angeles Times

How workable are the presidential candidates' health reform plans? The strategies of Sen. John McCain, a Republican, and Sen. Barack Obama, a Democrat, are different in their approaches to solving problems and their potential effects on voters. To choose wisely, you have to do some homework. To help, here are summaries of their proposals, health care statistics, and online resources that provide more information and analyze how well those proposals might work.

Barack Obama would ...

* Require employers (some small businesses would be exempt or subsidized) to either offer health insurance to employees or pay a tax that would be used to help uninsured people get insurance.

* Provide subsidies for low-income Americans to help them afford coverage.

* Create a new national health plan, similar to Medicare, for the uninsured and small businesses. Require that all children have health insurance.

* Regulate private insurance plans to end risk-rating based on health status - a system that can render people like cancer survivors or diabetes patients uninsurable.

* Establish a federal reinsurance program to protect businesses against the costs of workers' expensive medical episodes.

For more details about Obama's

full health care plan, go to

For health care statistics and online resources, see Page 3

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