The 2012 Presidential Election: You’re Voting On Your Health

A female doctor examining a patient's eye on a computer monitor
How will your vote in the upcoming 2012 Presidential Election influence your health?

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and many of its provisions are now law. However, it’s not clear whether it will remain the law of the land until 2014, when it is to take full effect, as Gov. Romney has said he will repeal the law if elected.

President Obama (D)

• New federal program to cover more than 30 million uninsured by 2014.

• Requires insurance or pay a financial penalty.

• Creates state insurance exchanges to offer competitively priced insurance.

• Expands Medicaid by up to 17 million.

• Tax credits for people with incomes that are between 138% and 400% of the poverty level (up to $92,200 annually for a family of four in 2012) to help pay for insurance.

• Young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan up to the age of 26.

• Guaranteed insurance coverage for children under the age of 19 with pre-existing health conditions. This guarantee will expand to all people with pre-existing conditions in 2014.

• Cover many preventive services such as annual doctor visits, contraceptives, mammograms, and screening tests without a co-payment or deductible.

• Requires most businesses to cover employees or pay a penalty.

Governor Romney (R)

• Work with Congress to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”

• Limit role of federal government in managing the health care markets. Encourage competition among insurance companies.

• Consumers can get insurance through their employer or buy on the open market. Ideas include individual purchasing pools.

• Would promote high-deductible insurance plans with lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs.

• Allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines.

• Offer tax breaks to consumers who get insurance on the open market instead of through their employer.

• Allow health savings accounts to be used for insurance premiums.

• Protect people with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage as provided under current law.

• Cap damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

• Allow individuals and businesses to create pools to buy insurance.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

Have your family or friends had to bury someone under the age of 18?