Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stand pretty close on health care. Yet, there is an inherent difference between their plans — the mandate. Obama will provide "universal access," while Clinton wants to require universal coverage. Obama will subsidize coverage for those who want it, but cannot afford it. Clinton maintains that any proposal that does not aim to cover every American will never withstand opponents.
Factcheck.org put together a great chart, outlining the many similarities and the few differences between the two Democratic candidates. Both plans would allow people to keep current insurance, or choose from an array of options similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan. Both would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on risk. Both plans include a mandate for children. Both estimate that each year families will save over $2,000 on average.
But despite all these similarities, a mandate makes one big difference — a mandate means more covered Americans. To see how, read more. Estimates compiled by factcheck.org maintain that under Hillary's plan, about 1 million will evade insurance, perhaps more depending on penalties. Under Barack, experts believe somewhere between 15 million and 26 million adults will choose to be uncovered.
If you're having trouble understanding what a "mandate" is, just liken it to car insurance. Many states have mandates for car insurance — in California, it's against the law to drive without insurance. I also suggest reading the factcheck.org report for more information on both plans.
So, which plan, if either, seems most reasonable to you? Mandate or no mandate?