John McCain's 'Call to Action' is his vision for Health Care Reform. Senator McCain believes that the key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves so that everyone can afford and acquire treatment and preventative care. Senator McCain wants to make health insurance innovative, portable and affordable by doing the following:
- Reform health care making it easier for individuals and families to obtain insurance. This part of McCain's plan is to use compensation to improve the quality of health care.
- Reform the tax code to offer more choices beyond employer-based health insurance coverage. While individuals will still have the option of keeping employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance.
- Proposes making insurance more portable.
- Encourage and expand the benefits of health savings accounts (HSAs) for families.
A Specific Plan of Action: Ensuring Care for Higher Risk Patients
- McCain's plan will work for the those without group health insurance and pre-existing conditions to make sure that these people get the high-quality coverage they need.
- McCain's plan will work with states to establish a guaranteed access plan.
- McCain's plan will promote proper incentives.
A Specific Plan of Action: Lowering Health Care Costs. McCain's plan proposes a number of initiatives that can lower health care costs in the following areas:
- Cheaper Drugs by bringing greater competition to the drug markets through safe re-importation of drugs and faster introduction of generic drugs.
- Providing quality, cheaper care for Chronic Disease.
- Promoting Coordinated Care.
- Greater Access and Convenience by expanding access to health care through walk-in clinics in retail outlets.
- Greater use of Information Technology to cut costs.
- Reforming the payment system of Medicaid and Medicare to cut costs.
- Promoting the availability of Smoking Cessation Programs.
- State Flexibility by encouraging states to lower costs.
- Tort Reform regarding medical liability of physicians and the ability of a patient to file a frivolous lawsuits.
- Transparency making public treatment options, doctor records and making transparent medical outcomes, quality of care, costs and prices. National standards must be developed for measuring and recording treatments and outcomes.
Obama/Biden believe that there are two extremes offered on health care reform-government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. Since they believe that these two "extremes" are wrong, they've proposed a plan that strengthens employer coverage, makes insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference. The Obama-Biden plan will allow patients to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of insurance company bureaucrats. For those Americans who have health insurance and like it, nothing changes except costs will go down by as much as $2,500 a year. For those American who do not have health insurance, they can choose from new, affordable health insurance options.
- Requiring health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
- Creating a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide health insurance for their employees.
- Preventing insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.
- Making employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers to contribute a percentage of payroll toward cost of health insurance.
- Establishing a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance carriers as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress.
- Lower drug costs by allowing importation of safe medications, by increasing the use of generic drugs and taking on drug companies that block generic drugs from the market.
- Require hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data.
- Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses.
- Reform the insurance market to increase competition.
The majority of the information compiled in this piece was taken from John McCain's and Barack Obama's website.
To read more about the facts about the McCain-Palin Health Care Plan visit the McCain website.
To read more about the facts about the Obama-Biden Plan visit the Obama website.
A third party assessment of both the McCain and Obama health care plans was compiled by HSI Network.