Commonwealth Fund report compares and contrasts Romney and Obama on healthcare

Posted on October 8, 2012 | No Comments

PDF Version
Details
Library
Implementation Briefs

President Obama and Governor Romney offer different visions for the nation’s healthcare system. To inform public discussion about health care in the election and beyond, an analysis published by the Commonwealth Fund draws from microsimulation analysis to contrast the potential impact of implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in full with Romney’s proposals to repeal the law, eliminate many of the new requirements for insurance markets, and make changes in Medicaid and Medicare. The report focuses on the following:

  • the number of Americans expected to gain health insurance;
  • changes in the affordability of insurance;
  • changes in consumer protections and consumer choice;
  • help for small businesses;
  • improvement in Medicare solvency;
  • improvement in health care quality; and
  • control of health spending growth.

The report’s findings indicate that, in each area, implementation of the Affordable Care Act would likely outperform Romney’s proposals.

No Comments

Public comments are closed.

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney released essays in the New England Journal Medicine (NEJM) presenting their visions for the future of health care reform. Obama calls for additional steps to fix the nation's health care delivery system, including a "permanent fix to Medicare's flawed payment formula that threatens physicians’ reimbursement.” President Obama also pledges his commitment to life sciences research, distancing himself from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's proposal to slash medical research investments. Obama also touts various popular Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions including the end of lifetime benefit caps, expanded preventive care services coverage, permitting young adults to remain on their parents insurance until age 26, rebates from insurance companies from the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, and the efforts to reduce Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Romney touches on his premium support plan for Medicare, Medicaid block grants, and plan to prevent discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions "who maintains continuous coverage."
"The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise" is the House Budget Committee's Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget resolution. The sections "Strengthening the Social Safety Net," and "Fulfilling the Mission of Health and Retirement Security for All Americans," encourage government to repeal and defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA), offering instead a reform proposal that builds upon the Rivlin-Ryan Medicare reform plan advanced in the President's Fiscal Commission in 2010. The FY2012 budget resolution proposes to 1) convert state Medicaid funding into a block grant, 2) offers Medicare beneficiaries the same health care options as members of Congress, 3) calls for the advance of social security solutions.
In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) notified Congress that the recently-introduced bill aimed at repealing the Afforadable Care Act (ACA) would add approximately $230 billion to federal deficits during the years 2012 - 2021. CBO also estimates that the bill, H.R. 2: Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million over the next decade.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislative branch agency responsible for estimating the cost of legislation, issued two reports on July 24th related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The first report, revised cost and health insurance coverage estimates for the ACA in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius[1]. In that ruling, the Court concluded the individual requirement to purchase health insurance coverage, while not a reasonable exercise of congressional Commerce Clause authority, is constitutional as a tax under congressional Spending Clause authority. The Court also held that the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, requiring states to cover all non-elderly individuals with incomes below 133[2] percent of the federal poverty level was unconstitutional. However, rather than striking the requirement, the Court precluded the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the mandate by withholding all Medicaid funds. As a result of the ruling, states now have the option of expanding coverage to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), and will receive enhanced federal matching funds as provided under the law, but are not required to expand coverage.[3]