Clinton, Obama on healthcare

April 15, 2008 3:20:05 PM PDT
All this week we will be taking a closer look at where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stand on crucial issues.A record 47 million Americans are uninsured, only seeing a doctor when a crisis forces them into the emergency room. How to fix that highlights one of the sharper divides between the two Democratic contenders.

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would create a pool of competing private and public plans, which they say would bring down consumer costs.

Both require large employers to cover workers, help small business, and subsidize low income people. Both say their plans would also help those already in plans get cheaper care and both would roll back the Bush tax cuts to pay for their ideas.

However, here's the big break: Clinton would mandate everyone have coverage while Obama would only make the coverage of children mandatory.

Clinton charges Obama is leaving 15 million adults uncovered. She also argues universal coverage won't happen unless the government insists on full participation.

"It would be like making social security voluntary or Medicare voluntary. You've got to get everybody into the system," Senator Clinton said.

Obama says a government requirement is heavy handed, that universal coverage will naturally happen with affordable plans.

"The only difference is I didn't force them to buy it because I don't think that's the problem in healthcare. It's that they can't afford it," Senator Obama said.

Both candidates accuse each other of being misleading. Obama says Clinton makes people think government will simply give everyone healthcare.

"She doesn't guarantee healthcare for everyone. What she's got is a mandate, which says you have to buy healthcare for yourself," Obama said.

She argues his own plan undercuts his criticism of mandates.

"He knows he can't cover all children without a mandate, and yet he pretends that you can somehow cover adults without one. That won't work," Clinton said.

You can read more about each candidate's plans by clicking on the links listed below:

Barack Obama's healthcare plan

Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan