Two sides of healthcare

Republicans and Democrats have identified many problems with the current healthcare system, such as high numbers of uninsured, unreasonable cost of coverage and overcrowded emergency rooms. This topic has been a main focus during the presidential debates and the entirety of the campaigns. Both presidential nominees have proposed two very different plans regarding healthcare.

According to Jonathan Oberlander, from the Massachusetts Medical Society, John McCain’s proposal focuses on offering a refundable tax credit of $5,000 for families and $2,500 for individuals. McCain’s proposal also relies on increasing competition in the insurance industries through deregulations.

Jesse Vaughn, the President of College Republicans at KU said McCain’s proposal would allow people to decide which coverage they wanted, and would take some of the red tape away from the healthcare industry.

It has been stressed by McCain’s campaign that his proposed reform would work within the fundamentals of the free market system to lower healthcare prices through competition.

When asked about Obama’s proposal, Vaughn said it would be giving control to the government and taking power away from the people.

Republicans fear that Obama’s proposed reform would lead to universal healthcare, which has been noted for having limited choices.

Barack Obama has also offered a detailed reform policy to the current healthcare system. Oberlander describes Obama’s proposal as striving to provide basic coverage through employer mandates, new options of public and private insurance programs and regulations on insurance companies. Obama would require employers to either offer coverage, or pay a tax to fund the uninsured. His plan would also enforce regulations against private insurers who deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The option of private or public coverage would still be left to the individual.

Alex Rock, the President of the Dole Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board, said that, Obama’s proposal is more realistic for solving the problems of getting basic coverage to everyone and opening up emergency rooms.

Obama supporters think that McCain’s rebate could fall short of the actual funds needed for some families.

Rock argues that some people don’t have the required time or education to research their own health care options needed in McCain’s plan. He added that because people don’t have the resources needed it could lead to individuals not using the refund money for healthcare, creating the same problems.

Although it may not be the only deciding factor on Election Day, Americans are taking the issue of healthcare very seriously.

“This is an important issue that people need to be thinking about on November 4th,” Vaughn said.

Rock also commented on the significance of healthcare.

“This was not the deciding factor but very important. The candidate I have chosen to vote for has a plan I agree with.”

  • Updated Nov. 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm