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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Health Care: Presidential Candidate Comparison

Health Care Costs continued...

President Obama (D)

  • The health reform law is expected to cost $1.168 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office estimates. New taxes and program savings are expected to offset that spending and reduce the deficit by $84 billion.
  • Reduce costs by requiring insurance companies to spend 80% of revenues on health care; only 20% can be spent on administration.
  • Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) -- organizations within Medicare that financially reward doctors and hospitals that partner to deliver more coordinated, higher quality care, at lower costs.
  • Value-based purchasing -- a Medicare program that reimburses hospitals based on the cost and quality of care they deliver, not the quantity.
  • Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) -- a 15-member board, appointed by the president and subject to Senate confirmation, is charged with keeping Medicare spending down by implementing cost-saving measures if spending rises.
  • Greater authority to identify and prosecute for costly fraud and abuse.
  • Bringing down overall costs will result in lower premiums for consumers.

Gov. Romney (R)

  • Cost of overall plan undetermined.
  • Promote free markets, less regulation, and more competition.
  • Allow people to buy insurance across state lines, increasing competition.
  • Place a cap on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.
  • Transparency on pricing and services.

Medicare

Medicare, the government health care plan for the disabled and Americans 65 and older, covers around 48 million people. It is an expensive program, and at the current rate of spending it is estimated that Medicare would run out of the money necessary to cover benefits by 2024.

President Obama (D)

  • Keep traditional Medicare. Slow costs by cutting $716 billion in payments to doctors and hospitals. Seniors' benefits would not change.
  • Premiums adjust to reflect cost of living increases.
  • Close the prescription drug "donut hole" by 2020 so seniors have less out-of-pocket costs for medications.
  • Cover preventive services such as annual doctor visits and screening tests without a co-payment or deductible.

Gov. Romney (R)

  • Transform Medicare into a market based system called "premium support," also known as vouchers.
  • Give beneficiaries a set amount of money to buy a plan of their choice, including traditional Medicare.
  • No cuts to Medicare funding.
  • Increase eligibility age from 65 to 67.
  • Provide less "premium support" to wealthier Americans.
  • Changes would start in 10 years.
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