URBAN ISSUES - HEALTH CARE
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Edward’s health care plan would cover an additional 21 million Americans at a cost of $53 billion per year. He would require that every American under the age of 21 has health insurance. Parents would have the primary responsibility to insure their children, but he would provide tax credits to help them pay for it. He would also expand existing programs for small businesses and employees between jobs.
Kerry’s health care plan would cover 27 million uninsured Americans. Kerry proposes allowing every American access to the healthcare plan currently offered to federal employees. He would reimburse employee health plans for the most expensive cases. He also plans to spend $72 billion over five years to offer health coverage for low-income people and children.
Kucinich would replace the current health care system with a national health insurance policy. He would finance it with a 7.7 percent tax on employers. It would be similar to the Canadian system. The plan to give all Americans health care coverage would cost an estimated $1.5 trillion a year.
Sharpton would create a national health care plan that is publicly financed by the government through taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
In 2003, President Bush signed into law the most sweeping changes to Medicare since the creation of program in 1965. As part of the reforms, he added a prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. Health experts are still divided on what these changes will mean for New York City in the long term. For the future, Bush advocates for greater patient choices and $117 billion in tax breaks to help the uninsured pay for health care.