Where Clinton, Obama, and McCain Stand on Healthcare

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Clinton

Obama

McCain
Mandatory Insurance

"Individuals will have to have insurance, but we're going to make it affordable."

Clinton would provide subsidies to help people buy but argues unless insurance is mandatory, insurers will cover the healthy, leading to more uninsured and rising costs.

"We don't want to put [adults] in a situation in which, on the front end, we are mandating them...to purchase insurance."

Obama supports requiring insurance for children only. He says if coverage is affordable and there are subsidies, everyone will buy.

"I think we owe it to them to have it affordable and available. It's their decision as to whether they want to take it or not."

McCain has compared having health insurance to getting a college education: something people can choose to do.

Guaranteed Coverage

"It's unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of race or gender...but it's ok to discriminate against sick people. And we're going to end that."

Clinton would end the insurers' prerogative to turn down those with pre-existing conditions.

"No one will be turned away because of a pre-existing condition or illness."

Obama supports forbidding insurance companies to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions when people apply for coverage, similar to Clinton's position.

"We do not believe in coercion and the use of state power to mandate care, coverage, or costs."

McCain has yet to reveal details about how his plan will protect people with pre-existing illnesses from being denied affordable insurance.

Restructuring the System

"If you are satisfied with your healthcare, you keep it, no questions asked."

After her foray into reform in 1993 was criticized for strong-arming people into new plans, she's been reassuring people her new plan wouldn't require a switch.

"Everyone will be able to buy into a new health insurance plan that's similar to the one that every federal employee...currently has for themselves."

Both Democrats want to expand people's choice of plans, possibly building on the plan for federal employees.

"We want to remove the employer tax and move tax incentives...to the individual."

Instead of the tax break employees get on plans, McCain would give $2,500 to individuals and $5,000 to families to buy healthcare.