"Obama will make available a new national health plan which will give
individuals the choice to buy affordable health coverage that is similar to
the plan available to federal employees. The new public plan will be open to
individuals without access to group coverage through their workplace or
current public programs...To provide Americans with additional options, the
Obama plan will make available a National Health Insurance Exchange to help
individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will
act as a watchdog and help reform the private insurance market by creating
rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and
to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible. Through the
Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public
plan or purchase an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale
subsidies will be provided for people and families who need it. Insurers
would have to issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable
premiums that will not depend upon health status. The Exchange will require
that all the plans offered are at least as generous as the new public plan
and meet the same standards for quality and efficiency. Insurers would be
required to justify an above-average premium increase to the Exchange. The
Exchange would evaluate plans and make the differences among the plans,
including cost of services, transparent." [Obama for America]
Some additional commentary
I have no idea what to think about health care.
Some people can't afford, or will refuse to pay for, health insurance. If we are unwilling to let them die, or suffer huge debt and then jail them for it (a rather perverse policy: "You! Sick guy! Pay or go to jail!"), then SOME form of "care of last resort" option has to be available, paid for by the public (i.e., taxpayers). Right now we do this through emergency rooms, and make hospitals go bankrupt.
If an accused criminal can't afford an attorney, we appoint one. If a possibly gravely ill person can't afford a doctor, we....what?
What is Obama's answer? I want to know.
(Nod to KL, who has other questions, too)