President Bush's plan for expanding health insurance coverage would help fewer than 2.5 million currently uninsured Americans at a cost to the federal government of $90 billion over 10 years, according to a new analysis. A far more ambitious proposal by presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) would increase coverage by 27 million people at a federal cost of $653 billion over 10 years, said the analysis by health economist Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University, Atlanta. Bush's plan would cost about $3,800 in 2008 for each new person covered, compared with a cost of $3,200 per new person for Kerry's plan, Thorpe said. That's because most of the people likely to take advantage of Bush's proposed initiatives -- tax credits, health savings accounts and association health plans -- already have insurance, he said. Kerry would offer tax credits, expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program and create premium pools for catastrophic care. Some 43.6 million Americans were uninsured in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. -- by Tony Fong
Analysis compares Bush, Kerry healthcare plans
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