Bidding War on Healthcare Reform?
Illinois Senator Barack Obama has announced his plan to make healthcare more available to all Americans:
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Seeking to add heft to his presidential bid, Democrat Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) is offering a sweeping plan that would provide every citizen a means to have health coverage and calls on government, businesses and consumers to share the costs of the program.
Obama said putting in place universal health coverage has been debated for decades, but the time has finally come to act. He said his plan could save the average consumer $2,500 a year and bring health care to all.
“The time has come for universal, affordable health care in America,” Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery at the unveiling of his plan Tuesday in Iowa City.
A copy of his remarks and documents describing the program were obtained by The Associated Press.
Under Obama’s proposal, everyone would be able to obtain health insurance, and the Illinois senator would create a National Health Insurance Exchange to monitor insurance companies in offering the coverage. In essence, Obama’s plan retains the private insurance system but injects additional money into the system to pay for the expanded coverage.
Those who can’t afford coverage would get a subsidy on a sliding scale depending on their income, and virtually all businesses would have to share in the cost of coverage for their workers. The plan that would be offered would be similar to the one covering members of Congress.
His package would prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
This plan sounds very similar to the Edwards healthcare plan to me. Perhaps some enterprising person could explain the differences to me.
I continue to be disappointed that more attention isn’t being given to the supply side of the healthcare equation. I’m skeptical that any reform plan can be sustained fiscally unless the supply bottlenecks are addressed, especially when the reform plans include increases in demand.