Report: Romney vs. Obama's health plans

Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Republican U.S. presidential nominee Mitt Romney's healthcare proposals would leave 72 million uninsured by 2022, a Commonwealth Fund report said Tuesday.

The report -- Health Care in the 2012 Presidential Election: How the Obama and Romney Plans Stack Up -- analyzed each nominee's proposals for addressing the healthcare system's problems and estimated the resulting number of uninsured by age and income.

The comparison relies on results of microsimulation analysis of the candidates' plans conducted by economist Jonathan Gruber, who compared the effects of the Affordable Care Act and repealing the law and replacing it with two Romney proposals -- providing states with Medicaid block grants and new tax incentives to purchase individual coverage.

Romney's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with block grants to states for Medicaid and new tax incentives would result in 17.9 million people age 19 and under to be uninsured by 2022, compared with an estimated 6 million under the Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010.

Under Romney's plan, 17.7 million middle-income families -- more than one-third of those with incomes between $32,000 and $58,000 a year for a family of four -- were projected to be uninsured by 2022. That compared with 3.3 million middle-income families are estimated to be uninsured by 2022 under the Affordable Care Act.

Among families with incomes under $32,000 a year for a family of four, 38.7 million people were estimated to be uninsured under Romney's plan and 17.2 million under the Affordable Care Act.

Under the Affordable Care Act, people buying individual plans through health insurance exchanges or the individual market would spend an average of 9.1 percent of their incomes on premiums and out-of-pocket costs, compared with 18.1 percent in the absence of the Affordable Care Act.

If Romney's proposal to equalize the tax treatment of individual and employer-based plans were accomplished by offering an income tax deduction for people who purchase individual health insurance, those buying individual plans would spend an average of 14.1 percent of their income on premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

The report is available at:

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