I will start by saying I was skeptical when I read the opening quote on Barack Obama's health care issues page. In the opening quote he says that the Obama health care plan will give every American health insurance coverage. He also claims that under the Obama health care plan no one will be turned away because of their medical history and that if you currently have insurance, your premiums will be less under the Obama health care plan. All of these statements are very bold, especially the last one.
Obama's Boldness Brings Skepticism
Yes, there is a health care crisis and something needs to be done to change it, but for Barack Obama to claim that he can cure it all with his plan seems too good to be true. Especially since he says that he will reduce premiums for people who already have health insurance. I see that doable for some, but some people still get health insurance at no cost, or very little cost. This made me skeptical but I kept on reading his plan.
Maybe Too Good to Be True, but the Obama Health Care Plan is Still a Good Plan
He does have a good plan and it seems to me the Obama health care plan is one of the most comprehensive of all the presidential candidates. He seems to have taken the time to really research the health care issues and it is important to him. So, although he is jumping to quick to make promises he may not be able to keep, he does overall have a well thought out health care plan and because he strongly realizes that America's health care system needs to be fixed, it looks as though he would work hard to do his best to make health care affordable and available to more Americans than it currently is.
Let's take a look at some key points in Barack Obama's health care plan then see what others think about it:
Barack Obama's Key Health Care Proposals
1. A National or Universal Health Care Plan for America:
Obama plans to offer a national health care system, similar to what members of congress have. He says the premiums will be affordable for everyone and subsidies will be provided for lower income families. He wants to also offer what he calls a National Health Insurance Exchange. This will be for people who still want to use private health insurance companies. The National Health Insurance Exchange will be a "big brother" over the private insurance companies and help to oversee their activities.
2. Modernize Current U.S. Healthcare Flaws:
Obama feels there are a lot of smaller problems areas in the current health care system that if fixed, would lead to lower costs and better patient care. Some of the areas that he feels need fixed or modernized are: reimbursing employers for catastrophic healthcare losses, focus on disease management programs, electronic medical records, and lowering prescription drug costs.
3. Support Research and Funding for Other Health Care Problem Areas:
Obama supports research for future medical training and prevention of diseases. He also wants to fight AIDS on a worldwide scale and strongly supports the American with Disabilities Act. Support for better mental healthcare programs, mercury pollution, lead poisoning and autism research are also on his healthcare modernization agenda.
So, What's the Word on The Street about the Obama Health Care Plan?
Of course, as a democrat, Obama does support some type of universal health care system but the main difference between Obama and the original "Clinton Universal Health Care" is that Obama will not make it mandatory for every American to get health insurance. This at first may seem good but in reality it may make health care costs even higher.
According to www.TheStreet.com (yes, I literally found the word on "the street" this time!), "Obama's claims and reality don't match. Millions of children qualify for coverage through S-CHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program), but parents don't always buy coverage for their children. Some can't afford it, while others have no idea it exists. Voluntary programs always leave people behind, even when they include subsidies like those in Obama's plan. In fact, the Urban Institute notes that no study has ever shown better than a two-thirds rate of participation in a voluntary program. This means Obama's plan would leave about 15 million people without coverage, at least. This is an improvement over the 47 million without insurance now, but public health care costs could still stay high. Those 15 million would still need health care in case of an emergency -- yes, that means visiting the local emergency room. Who pays for that? If they can't afford the visit, then the rest of us pay it in subsidies through higher taxes."
Some Last Thoughts
This is an issue only if you have already accepted that universal health care is right for America. Any candidate that proposes such drastic reform in America's health care system is going to have a large battle ahead of them but, it is better than backing down just because it may not be politically correct. Most would agree that Obama and change go hand in hand and he is very passionate and sincere about having a better health care system for America. This attitude will attract many who are fed up with the "status quo" on America's health care system and his passion for the subject will at least bring more discussion about the topic because although no one knows what changes are needed in America's health care system, everyone agrees that change is needed.