The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed in March 2010, is considered by supporters as one of the president’s culminating achievements to date. The Act has stimulated considerable controversy, garnering extensive criticism from conservatives and suffering in opinion polls. As a result, health care reform has taken a central position in the 2012 presidential campaign. This brief highlights the candidates’ positions on health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
|Barack Obama||Mitt Romney||Rick Santorum||Newt Gingrich|
|Main Themes||Consumer protection and cost control||Federal overreach and fair market competition||States’ rights and market competition||Deregulation|
|Key Proposals||Implement Affordable Care Act||Repeal Affordable Care Act,
Some regulations protecting consumers,Allow purchase of insurance over state lines,Medicare “premium support system”
|Repeal Affordable Care Act,Allow purchase of insurance over state lines,Medicare “premium support system”||Repeal Affordable Care Act,Tax credit for health insurance purchase,Allow purchase of insurance over state lines|
Consumer protection and cost control
President Obama has refused to consider a repeal or partial repeal of the law. For Obama, the Affordable Care Act is the answer to problems in cost control and inequality in the American health care system and must be implemented in full.
Federal overreach and fair market competition
In general, Mitt Romney proposes to create a fair marketplace for health insurance through deregulation and competition.
- Repeal the Affordable Care Act
- Limit federal requirements on Medicaid spending
- Promote accessibility options, including exchanges, subsidies, and public-private partnerships
- Encourage purchasing pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
- Promote the direct purchase of insurance through reformed tax law
- Allow Health Savings Accounts to be used for insurance funds
- Enact medical malpractice reform
- Increase states’ flexibility through block grants for Medicaid
- Reform Medicare into a “premium support system,” a federal subsidy that recipients could use to purchase health insurance from the private market
Freedom of choice and deregulation