Kicker: Positions

What Selected Presidential Candidates Are Saying About Health Coverage

Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama

John Edwards

Rudy Giuliani

Mitt Romney

John McCain

Democrat

Democrat

Democrat

Republican

Republican

Republican

Underwriting

Guaranteed issue. “Insurers must offer coverage to anyone who applies and pays their premium.”

Guaranteed eligibility. “No American will be turned away from any insurance plan because of illness or pre-existing conditions.”

Insurers would have to “keep plans open for everyone.”

No provision.

No provision.

No provision.

Rates

“Strong rating protections. Insurers would be prohibited from charging large premium differences based on age, gender or occupation.”

A new public plan will offer “affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles.”

Insurers would have to “charge fair premiums, regardless of pre-existing conditions, medical history, job, and other characteristics.”

No provision.

No provision.

No provision.

Health accounts

No provision.

No provision.

Wants to improve and expand health savings accounts.

Wants to eliminate requirement that health savings account-compatible health coverage have a high deductible.

Wants to increase availability of health savings accounts.

New plans and purchasing vehicles

Would set up a new public insurance program that would resemble traditional Medicare, and also would let consumers buy private coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan or through similar state or multistate programs.

Would set up a new public insurance program and also would create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans buy coverage through a program similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan.

Would let consumers buy private coverage through regional Health Care Market purchasing pools.

Would shift many Americans into individual health market, group group health market, and would permit consumers to buy coverage from a health insurer licensed to do business in any state.

No provision.

No provision.

Individual coverage requirements

Individuals would have a responsibility to get and keep insurance when coverage was affordable and accessible.

Would require that all children have health coverage.

No provision.

Opposes individual coverage mandate.

Opposes federal individual coverage mandate.

Opposes individual coverage mandate.

Employer coverage requirements

“Large employers” would have a responsibility to provide coverage or “contribute to the cost of the system.”

Employers would have to provide coverage or contribute to the cost of running a national health plan.

Employers would have to provide coverage or contribute to the cost of running a national health plan.

Wants to shift employer plan members into individual market.

Opposes employer coverage mandate.

Opposes employer coverage mandate.

Source: Campaign Web sites; the Center for the Study of the Presidency, Washington