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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Health Care: Presidential Candidate Comparison

Young Adults' Health

One out of 10 people without health insurance are ages 19 to 29, almost twice the rate as among people ages 30 to 64, largely due to the high cost of coverage.

President Obama (D)

  • Keep adult children without access to their own coverage on their parents' health plans until age 26.
  • About 3 million additional young adults have received health insurance benefits.
  • Starting Jan. 1, 2014, young adults will be able to buy more affordable coverage through the state health insurance markets.

Gov. Romney (R)

  • Find coverage through the open market.

Women's Health

Women often face more discrimination and higher health costs, especially during their childbearing years.

President Obama (D)

All new private insurance plans, and Medicare, now cover 22 preventive health services for women for free (no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible). They include:

  • A yearly wellness checkup
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure screening
  • Mammogram, colorectal cancer screening, and cervical cancer screening
  • Depression screening
  • Many vaccinations
  • HIV screening
  • Help quitting smoking
  • The full list of preventive services is posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web site.

Other provisions:

  • Requires health insurance companies to cover the cost of FDA-approved birth control, sterilization procedures, and contraceptive education and counseling.
  • Employers that provide health benefits must include the full cost of contraceptives in their plans.
  • Organizations opposed to birth control can opt out of providing coverage for it. Insurance companies will pick up the cost instead.

Gov. Romney (R)

  • Not mentioned in his plan.


Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973. Whether or not government funds will pay for them, or if insurers will be required to cover abortions, is a concern for many people.

President Obama (D)

  • Supports abortion rights as defined by Roe v. Wade.
  • Health insurers decide if they want to cover abortions.
  • Starting in 2014, at least one health plan in each health exchange must cover the cost of an abortion.
  • Federal law prohibits public funds from being used to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or when pregnancy poses life-threatening danger to the mother.

Gov. Romney (R)

  • Opposes abortion but makes exceptions for rape, incest, and threat to the mother's life.
  • Would reinstate rule that says private organizations cannot use government money for abortions.

WebMD Medical Reference

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