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Life Health > Health Insurance > Your Practice

A Tale of Two Health Plans: Romney vs. Obama (NPR)

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Much has been said about the inherent similarities between the Massachusetts health care plan Mitch Romney signed into law in 2006 and Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Overall, the plans function in much the same way — though Obama’s plan includes some additional patient protections and many additional subsidies.

Both plans are founded upon health insurance exchange, and both mandate that individuals buy insurance. They also leave Medicare and Medicaid intact, fine companies above a given size for not offering insurance to employees, and provide subsidies to low-income individuals and families to help pay for coverage.

Here’s where they differ: the federal plan has a stated goal of attempting to lower health care costs, which Romney’s doesn’t, and it includes a patient’s bill of rights. It also expands Medicaid to include subsidies for poor, able-bodied adults who are not parents. Finally, whereas Romney’s plan relies largely on federal subsidies, the PPACA imposes taxes on a number of different sectors, including health insurers.

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