WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY
BRAUN: National health insurance providing single-payer universal health care, financed through the income tax.
CLARK: Tax credits to subsidize insurance for children and young adults in families earning up to $90,000 for a family of four or individuals making up to about $40,000. Americans without job-based insurance could enroll in the system for federal employees and be assured of fairly priced premiums. Additional assistance for low-income workers, military reservists and veterans, and a 70 percent tax credit to help cover people between jobs.
DEAN: Expand state health insurance program for poor children to include kids from moderate-income families, young adults and the working poor. Tax credits to help workers of moderate income buy affordable coverage similar to that offered to federal employees, with extra insurance subsidies for companies employing fewer than 50 people. Federal government to pay 70 percent of temporary insurance costs for people between jobs, with former employers required to extend coverage for additional two months.
EDWARDS: Tax breaks to make children’s health coverage affordable to families that agree to buy it. A family of four earning less than $60,000 would pay less than $370 a year for their kids’ insurance; a lower-income family of four would pay about $110. Infants to be enrolled at birth in either government health care programs or private insurance. Children up to age 21 would be required to sign up when they visit doctors’ offices or start school. Also, subsidies to help two-thirds of uninsured adults buy coverage. People aged 55 to 65 could buy into Medicare and unemployed workers who are not wealthy could continue coverage from their last jobs with 70 percent federal subsidies.
GEPHARDT: Guaranteed health insurance by subsidizing expansion of employer-based system. Companies would get 60 percent tax credit for the cost of providing health insurance, losing the less lucrative tax deduction offered now, in a switch that would cost the Treasury $112 billion in one year. Poorest workers would get subsidies covering 20 percent of premiums. Laid-off workers would get subsidies to help them continue coverage from their old jobs. More children would be covered under expansion of federally supported state Children’s Health Insurance Program. Uninsured people aged 55 to 64 could buy into Medicaid coverage.
KERRY: Expand insurance system for federal employees to private citizens through tax credits and subsidies. Unemployed would get 75 percent tax credit to help pay for insurance. Tax credits for small businesses and their employees for health insurance. People aged 55 to 64 could buy into federal employees’ health plan at affordable price. Government would help companies and insurers pay an employee’s catastrophic medical costs if the firms would agree to hold down premiums. Federal support to expand access to state-administered health insurance for children.
KUCINICH: National health insurance providing single-payer universal health care.
LIEBERMAN: Expand state health insurance and create new federal program to ensure all children and young adults have access to health care. Poorer families would get kids’ coverage at no cost; no family would pay more than 7.5 percent of income for it. Expanded coverage options for workers without health insurance, for parents at home and for early retirees, ensuring no one pays more than 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income for insurance. Federal support to extend subsidized insurance for people who lose their jobs.
SHARPTON: Amend the Constitution to enshrine the right to health care of equal quality for everyone.
SOURCE: The Associated Press