An excellent NY Times opinion piece titled Clinton, Obama, Insurance shows quite well that his concept of making insurance affordable and not requiring everyone to have health insurance, in fact, is far worse than the proposal by Senator Clinton.
An analysis found that a plan without mandates, similar to the Obama plan, would cover about half of the 47 million uninsured and cost taxpayers $102 billion per year. An identical plan with mandates, similar to the Clinton plan, would cover 45 million of the uninsured — essentially everyone — at a taxpayer cost of $124 billion. Obama-type plan cost $4,400 per newly insured person. Clinton-type plan only $2,700.
Obama's claim that people will buy health insurance when affordable is plain wrong and naive. Without an individual mandate, that is a mandatory requirement to buy health insurance, those who will buy it will be those who need it. those who are ill or the sickest. Naturally, this will drive costs to be astronomical and make insurance even more unaffordable. Although I'm sure Senator Obama has plenty of healthcare advisors, They have conveniently ignored the basic concept of shared responsibility, which is taught in introductory insurance classes.
As the opinion piece notes:
Mr. Obama claims that people will buy insurance if it becomes affordable. Unfortunately, the evidence says otherwise.
After all, we already have programs that make health insurance free or very cheap to many low-income Americans, without requiring that they sign up. And many of those eligible fail, for whatever reason, to enroll.
An Obama-type plan would also face the problem of healthy people who decide to take their chances or don’t sign up until they develop medical problems, thereby raising premiums for everyone else. Mr. Obama, contradicting his earlier assertions that affordability is the only bar to coverage, is now talking about penalizing those who delay signing up — but it’s not clear how this would work.
Out of all the presidental nominees, Senator Clinton has the most carefully constructed and comprehensive healthcare reform plan. Don't let the 30 second soundbites and poison words from the 1990s fool you. This is not the same plan. See for yourself at health08.org which is setup by the Kaiser Family Foundation.