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President Barack Obama

The main component of the President’s health proposal allows workers to keep the insurance coverage they now have through their jobs, or be guaranteed the right to buy affordable coverage through a new National Health Insurance Exchange — with no denials because of your age or a pre-existing condition. This exchange would offer a variety of insurance plans that offer benefits like those members of Congress and federal employees get, and would include the choice of private insurance plans or a public insurance option. Benefits would cover all essential medical services, including preventive care, screenings, maternity and mental healthcare.

Medicaid would be expanded to include more low-income working families; seniors on Medicare would get new services like paid medical screenings and more prescription drug coverage; incentives would encourage prevention and a focus on coordinated-care, rather than piecemeal medical care, and subsidies would help struggling families cover the cost of buying a policy.

Opponents have put out a lot of misinformation about the President’s proposal — to get the reality and facts from the White House on its plan, check the site RealityCheck.

The president has proposed a $634 billion down payment on health reform over the next decade, to be paid for through a combination of cost-cutting, quality incentives and tax increases. Congress approved in April a budget blueprint for health reform, but has yet to agree to a specific funding amount or plan.

The President and Congress already have approved an expansion of insurance for low-income children and help with COBRA insurance benefits for newly laid-off workers in the stimulus package.

IssuesHealth