Senator Barack Obama recently met with voters in Des Moines, Iowa, to discuss the issue of healthcare, according to a press release issued on his campaign website. During a roundtable style discussion Obama promised to take a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform. He also said that he was the only candidate capable of bringing Democrats and Repuclicans together on the issue.
Obama acknowledged that each of his rivals for Democratic nomination have offered plans for dealing with the country’s healthcare crisis. “But what’s most important is that we elect a President with the proven ability to bring Democrats and Republicans together to get results so we can stand up to special interests,” he said. Obama noted that he had led a bipartisan effort that delivered healthcare to 150,000 adults and children during his time as a state senator in Illinois.
The Senator also said that he wants to create transparent process of reform by having open conversations with voters while on the campaign trail.
Obama’s plan for healthcare reform, which can be viewed on his campaign website, includes three goals. The first is to ensure that every American has access to affordable, comprehensive, and portable health care coverage. The second goal is to improve patient care and contain spiraling healthcare costs. The third goal is to focus on preventative measures aimed at improving public health.
The plan calls for the creation of a national healthcare system that would provide affordable access to health insurance. It would seek to provide coverage comparable to that currently enjoyed by member of Congress.
Under the plan a National Health Insurance Exchange would be created. The Exchange would provide a place where individuals shopping for insurance coverage could compare plans. To qualify for listing on the exchange private insurance plans would have to meet certain standards of fairness and affordability.
In addition, employers who do not offer health care benefits to their employees would have to pay into the national health care system. Some small businesses would be exempt from this stipulation, depending on how much revenue they pull in.
Obama’s plan also calls for universal access to health care coverage for children. The plan would also require insurance companies to allow younger Americans to maintain coverage under their parent’s plan until the reach they age of 25.
A recent poll showed Obama leading the race in Iowa. But he continues to trail Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, another state voting early in the primary process. The Iowa caucus is set to take place on January 3, 2008. New Hampshire will vote the following week.