Obama vs. Romney: Their Goals for Health Care, Immigration, Tax Reform, and Education

President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney’s differing plans for the country.

By: Sam Arneson

Obama’s Health Care Plan:

-Mainly focused on maintaining nation-wide Healthcare plans:

  • Wants his Affordable Care Act to make healthcare more affordable for families and small businesses; also supposed to stop insurance companies from denying coverage to those who get sick or have pre-existing conditions
  • Summary of Affordable Care Act: designed to help seniors, small businesses, families, those with pre-existing conditions, and those who don’t qualify for Medicare save on healthcare
  • Consequences of Affordable Care Act: When first enacted, many were concerned it wouldn’t work unless the government raised taxes and insurance companies raised premiums, but so far, there is little proof that the act has caused an increase in either. Also, many worry that the Affordable Care Act gives the government too much control over nation’s health care

Romney’s Health Care Plan:

-Mainly focused on breaking apart Obama’s plan and allowing each state to customize a health care plan for themselves

  • Romney still wants to keep some aspects of Obama’s plan, but wants to prevent those with pre-existing conditions from purchasing health care insurance only once they become sick
  • Summary of Romney’s plan: keep some of Obamacare, but give most power over health care to the state governments, remove ability for those with pre-existing conditions to access health care after their diagnosis
  • Consequences of Romney’s plan: Those who rely on government health care programs could lose their coverage, could leave many people with pre-existing conditions without health insurance

Obama’s View of Immigration:

-Summary: Obama wants to provide as many opportunities and chances as possible to illegal immigrants so that they can stay in America and prosper

  • Recently passed a law that allowed illegal immigrants to send in requests to the government to avoid deportation (~72,000 applications received to date)
  • There are restrictions on who can apply (some of them include: can’t have criminal record and must be 30 years old or younger), and they can only avoid deportation for two years, during which they can get a work permit
  • Concerns about his policies: The costs of processing all the paperwork could exceed the possible revenue from this plan, causing a possible deficit of over $101 million. This plan also in some ways asks Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to not do their job, which is to report and deport illegal immigrants.

Romney’s View of Immigration:

-Summary: Romney wants to use immigration to spark American innovation and to boost our economy by legalizing and giving visas to highly-skilled immigrants

  • Wants to raise immigration caps for countries to allow more innovative and highly-skilled immigrants to help the American economy and its industries
  • Wants to increase border security and discourage illegal immigration by instituting new laws and regulations for employers so they can make sure their employees are legal immigrants
  • Concerns about his policies: Some view Romney’s plans for dealing with illegal immigrants as being too harsh. In addition, Romney’s intense advocation for having highly skilled workers immigrate to America overlooks those who come to America to become highly skilled workers.

Obama Tax Reform:

-Summary: Obama wants millionaires and billionaires to pay more and wants to close tax cut loopholes (like owning offshore accounts) for the upper class, oil companies, and hedge fund managers

  • Obama is proposing the Buffett Rule, which will raise taxes on only millionaires and billionaires, and won’t affect those who earn less than $250,000 a year
  • Obama wants to cut corporate tax rates
  • Concerns about his plan: It is unclear exactly how much Obama may ask the upper class and large corporations to pay if the Buffett Rule is passed.

Romney Tax Reform:

-Summary: Romney plans to bring down tax rates for everyone to stimulate the economy– and more importantly, job creation

  • Romney also wants to decrease the size of the government and its spending significantly, so that he can afford to lower tax rates for everyone without creating a huge deficit
  • Wants to reduce taxes for corporations from 35% to 25%
  • Concerns about his plan: All the taxes cuts won’t bring in enough revenue for the government to survive unless huge government spending and size cuts are made. In addition, many are concerned that large cuts in government spending will eliminate critical programs that people rely on.

Obama’s Position on Education:

-Summary: Obama wants to continue saving teachers’ jobs and encouraging students to stay in school longer

  • Obama is promoting the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) to allow young immigrants to gain citizenship through attending college or serving in the military
  • Wants to raise educational standards, assist struggling schools, and continue the Race to the Top program, which rewards states that make important changes in their educational systems
  • Concerns about his plan: all of these changes could cause more and more government spending, which could either increase taxes or increase the nation’s deficit.

Romney’s Position on Education:

-Summary: Romney’s plan focuses on encouraging competition between students, schools, districts, and states to promote innovation and entrepreneurship

  • Wants to reward students that do exceptionally well in school with scholarships
  • Wants to make college more available and affordable to all
  • Concerns about his plan: All the competition may cause people to cut corners in order to get the government rewards. Also, Romney’s push towards student competition may leave those with learning disabilities behind.

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