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The Lewin Group Presents 'McCain and Obama Health Policies: Cost and Coverage Compared' Analysis
Date:10/8/2008

g

(2010) -$1,411 -$426

"Both candidates' plans have features designed to reduce health care costs," John Sheils, senior vice president of The Lewin Group, explained. "Senator McCain's plan allows people to purchase coverage without state mandated benefits by permitting the sale of insurance across state lines and increases incentives to purchase lower cost health plans by eliminating the income tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health benefits." Sheils added, "The Obama health care reform plan establishes a minimum standard of covered benefits and requires the use of proven care coordination of services for the chronically ill in Medicare and other federal programs."

Lewin estimates also reflect the effect of other important provisions in these plans. The coverage and cost estimate for the Obama plan reflect his proposed small employer tax credit for insurance and a new federally subsidized reinsurance program to cover catastrophic health expenses in employer plans. The McCain plan estimates also reflect the new high-risk pools and a new option for states to cover Medicaid participants under private insurance with the help of the new tax credit.

The Lewin analysis makes no judgment as to which candidate's plan is better. Lewin's goal was to supply a detailed breakdown of the effects of the plans, giving sufficient information to allow each reader to come to his or her own conclusion. An extensive discussion of the effects of each plan provision studied is available with the report.

Lisa Chimento, executive vice president of The Lewin Group, explained the methodology that Sheils used to ensure that the Lewin study was intended to be unbiased. "All of the data was gathered from official campaign materials and statements available in the public domain," Chimento said. "Additionally, we invited each campaign to provide Lewin with copies of any information they felt was relevant to the an
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SOURCE The Lewin Group
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