Last night, Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama had their first round of debates before the Presidential election in November. The overall feel was calm, but the topics were heated. One area of discussion that has a lot of people confused is how each candidate is approaching America’s health care dilemma and how health insurance will be handled through the government. Health insurance in America is in need of reform, but each candidate has a very different take on how to solve the problem. With President Obama’s plan already underway, it’s hard for the public to determine the right course of action and this puts a lot of weight in this year’s election. Many aspects of health care were covered, including how to handle patients with pre-existing conditions and how to manage the future of Medicaid and Medicare.
Mr. Romney continues to criticize the Presidents path towards better health care for America, despite the plan resembling his own state of Massachusetts’ health care system. Mr. Romney believes health care should be managed at the state level and he believes President Obama’s plan is allowing the federal government to ‘take over’ health care. President Obama believes his plan will actually allow for an expansion of private health insurance companies and promote competition among insurers. By placing limits on the insurance companies’ spending habits, he feels there is a fair balance between competition and protection consumers’ health and pocketbooks.
Medicare is also a hot topic that both candidates envision very differently. Mr. Romney sees a Medicaid system that allows the elderly a fixed amount of money to purchase their health insurance from where ever they wish, to encourage competition. He called for a cap on federal Medicare spending and giving more power at the state level. President Obama worries that this plan will allow private health insurance companies to insure mostly healthy seniors putting all others at risk. He sees this plan as very problematic for families that are trying to insure someone with a pre-existing condition.
This brings us to the issue of people with pre-existing conditions. This has long been a major flaw in America’s health care system as people with a chronic illness struggled to find health insurance and if they did, premiums were often through the roof. President Obama worries that Mr. Romney’s plan would enable insurers to deny coverage to people struggling with pre-existing conditions. Mr. Romney ensures this is not the case, but it’s hard to tell which candidate is being straightforward. There are claims being made that people with pre-existing conditions through Mr. Romney’s plan will only be guaranteed coverage if there has been no major lapses in coverage over a certain time. This could exclude millions of Americans suffering from heart disease and cancer.
There were many aspects discussed about health care that simply did not match up as they were criticizing each other’s plan. Mr. Romney claims he is not getting rid of every aspect of health care reform, but it’s not clear exactly how the changes will be implemented and how changes will be funded. President Obama continues to take the heat for pushing this bill through without Republican support and there is question whether or not his plan will end up saving American money or end up costing us even more. We expect this topic to be an ongoing discussion, even after the November presidential election is over.
Written by Sam Tabes
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Tags: health care debates, health care reform, health insurance news, medicaid, medicare, pre-existing conditions