During the campaign, Obama advanced a proposal for a refundable tax credit to help small businesses buy health insurance for their employees. The 2010 health law creates a tax credit for small businesses (fewer than 25 employees) that provide health coverage to their workers.
He has consistently supported proposals to increase transparency related to health care costs and quality (PDF), such as the health law's medical-loss ratio requirement and requirements to collect and report on health care quality measures such as preventable medical errors, hospital-acquired infections, and others.
During his 2008 campaign and later as part of the health law, Obama advocated for comparative effectiveness research to help physicians and patients make health care decisions.
Obama on the Health Care Marketplaces:
- Obama has opposed medical liability tort reforms (PDF) that impose federal caps on jury awards in malpractice cases. Since taking office, though, his administration has launched a Patient Safety and Medical Liability Reform Demonstration program to help states test new ways to improve patient safety, reduce the incidence of frivolous lawsuits and bring down the cost of liability insurance premiums. In his 2011 State of the Union address, he signaled openness to "medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits," but he has stopped short of changing his position opposing federal caps on damage awards.
- He has supported the reimportation of prescription drugs from other developed countries if the drugs were safe and cost less than they do in the U.S. As a senator he co-sponsored related legislation and early in his presidency continued to view the idea favorably, but has since stepped back from the issue.
Also of interest: Campaign civility IS possible.
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