Obama stands firm on his views that every American deserves the right to affordable and reliable health care and it’s up to the federal government to ensure that service is provided. For this reason, he fought for his Affordable Care Act – a 2,400 page bill that he’s worked to construct since taking office in 2008 – which passed this summer.
Obama’s view on health care is based on a believe that because of insurance companies’ unchecked power to “dictate care and cap and cancel your patients’ insurance,” tens of millions of Americans have been left uninsured and underinsured. In accordance with his new law, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” the president believes the American people are moving toward a health care system that “broadly provides health security,” said Obama in a statement published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Under the new health care law (which will not take full effect until 2014), Americans who receive health insurance through their employer will only be affected in that it will make their coverage more affordable and secure. It also allows people with pre-existing conditions the ability to receive preventative care without paying deductibles or co-pays. Of the law Obama reports that “13 million Americans got more than $1 billion in rebates – and by 2019, economists believe, family premiums will be about $2,000 less.”
In addition, Obama claims the new law gets rid of insurance overpayments and waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid systems, which saved people an average of $600 in 2011. This move allowed Obama to extend health care coverage to 3 million young adults who would have otherwise been insured but now have coverage on their parents’ plan until they turn 26.
Mitt Romney, however, disagrees with the Affordable Care Act and has from day one. The first thing he has promised to do if elected president is to repeal the law.
“What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States,” Romney said in a press conference immediately following the Affordable Care Act vote.
However, critics have been quick to point that Romney signed a similar law in Massachusetts that imposed fines on people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it. In response, Romney contends his views on health care vary from Obama’s not in the areas of the quality, availability or cost of care, but on who – the state or the federal government – gets to make the rules. Obama believes the decision should be left up to the federal government while Romney believes it should be left up to each state.
Romney would contend that Obamacare will take us in the opposite direction we need to go, saying, ” The costs are commensurate: Obamacare added a trillion dollars in new health care spending. To pay for it, the law raised taxes by $500 billion on everyone from middle-class families to innovative medical device makes, and then slashed $500 billion from Medicare,” according to his official website, MittRomney.com.
If Romney is elected president he has made clear that he intends to do to “fix” the wrongs Obama has made during his presidency. “In place of Obamacare, Mitt will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help the markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.”
Romney’s main points for health care include resorting state leadership and flexibility, promoting free markets and fair competition, and empowering consumer choice. Though he is essentially in support of universal health care, he wants its implementation delegated at a state level instead of federal.
Tomorrow night’s debate – slated to focus primarily on domestic policy – will take place from 9-10:30 p.m. ET at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. It will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, ABC, FOX, and NVC, as well as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.