Tough choice. If you”re an Ohio resident and health insurance coverage is one of your key concerns, there are many factors to consider.
Obama’s plan would have the government take a stronger role in reducing the number of uninsured Americans.
McCain’s proposal would tax workers for the value of their employer-provided health plan, at the same time giving tax credits of $2,500 to single people and of $5,000 to families. The idea is for the employees to use the money to buy individual health insurance plans.
A Female Perspective
Speaking from the Ladies” Gallery in the Ohio Statehouse, Nikki Rigano, a worker at the New Albany Kroger and member of UFCW Local 1059, had some interesting things to say about Senator McCain”s health care proposals:
“Senator McCain”s plan to establish a brand new ”health tax” would be irresponsible during the best of times, but during an economic crisis it threatens the well-being of middle-class families everywhere. Instead of creating new taxes, he should be helping hard-working Americans keep the tools they need to stay healthy. Putting affordable, quality health coverage out of reach for more than 900,000 Ohioans is simply not an acceptable option.”
I don”t necessarily accept Rigano”s notion, and in fact believe McCain”s plan will help more Ohioans with their health insurance than Obama”s plan.
More than 1.2 million Buckeye state residents currently have no health insurance and one million more are under-insured. These figures are hardly surprising, considering premiums have risen more than 250% since 2000. According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress, a middle-class Ohio family could expect to pay an extra $900 in McCain”s “health tax” by 2013, and 920,000 would lose coverage altogether under his plan.
However, the nonpartisan Factcheck.org has said this assertion is false. Factcheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to monitor the validity of political advertising and rhetoric so that voters will be able to make a more informed choice at the polls. (Quick Disclaimer- Our website does not necessarily endorse or support Factcheck.org)
“The Obama-Biden ad falsely claims McCain says he wants to “do the same to our health care” that “Wall Street deregulation” has done to the banking industry,” Factcheck.org said in its analysis.
According to them, the ad takes a phrase out of context from an article Sen. McCain wrote in the September/October issue of “Contingencies,” a journal of the American Academy of Actuaries.
The full quote provides the context. What Sen. McCain is talking about is permitting people to buy health insurance across state lines – a practice currently not permitted. Although this would not drastically lower premiums, it could potentially result in a 5% across-the-board decrease in prices.
Sen. McCain wrote, “I would also allow individuals to choose to purchase healthcare across state lines, when they can find more affordable and attractive products elsewhere … Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation. Consumer-friendly insurance policies will be more available and affordable.”
Buying Insurance Across State Lines
Sen. McCain”s proposal echos what industry analysts have been saying for years. Currently, the residents of each state can only buy insurance from companies operating in that state. Industry analysts say that benefits mandated by legislators, which have little to do with consumers, drive up costs.
For example, families in New Jersey, which mandates more benefits than Pennsylvania, such as infertility, a family plan can cost $1,652 per month, while a family can buy a plan in Pennsylvania for $707 per month. Critics point out 60-year-olds have little need for infertility benefits. And there are several other benefits that may not be wanted or needed. Maternity, mental-health, dental/vision, and generic drug copays are a few examples.
March 2011. Well…I guess we know who won the election. Obamacare has been passed but it appears the Supreme Court will rule its legality in 2012. I believe we need reform, but Obamacare may not be the answer. Stay tuned.
August 2014. Wow! Has it been more than three years since the last update? As we await the second Open Enrollment under “The Affordable Care Act,” although rates have not reduced as promised, for most persons here in the state, prices have not skyrocketed either. For 2015, prices will be going up, but most carriers are staying under the 10% level.
Federal subsidies will continue to drastically reduce costs…if you qualify. It’s not unusual to pay under $100 per month (even for family coverage), if your household income meets the Federal Poverty Limit guidelines. This huge break should continue, unless the Obamacare legislation is repealed. We don’t anticipate that happening.