Just in time for the 2012 presidential election, the health care proposals of President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, are summarized in a new policy note by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
The policy note presents a side-by-side comparison of Obama, Romney and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposals for the private insurance market, Medicare and Medicaid. The summary allows voters to compare and contrast the two campaigns’ positions on major health care issues. If Obama is re-elected, he has stated his administration will fully implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, which is designed to increase private insurance coverage both by encouraging employers to provide it and by subsidizing middle-income families purchasing their own insurance through new Health Insurance Exchanges. Most low-income Americans will receive coverage at no cost through state Medicaid programs. Romney has outlined his own proposals to repeal and replace the ACA, endorsing much of the “The Path to Prosperity” federal budget proposal spearheaded by Ryan and the House Budget Committee. The proposals include providing a fixed dollar benefit for Medicare, or a premium support voucher, and having recipients purchase either the traditional Medicare coverage or private insurance. They also call for providing a fixed dollar amount, or block grants, to states for Medicaid. The policy note is written by Shana Alex Lavarreda, director of the Center’s Health Insurance Studies Program, Sophie Snyder, a Center graduate student researcher, and Dylan H. Roby, director of the Center’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program.