Health care is kind of a big deal, as there are 47 million uninsured Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even worse, Kaiser highlights a new demographic group -- the underinsured. These people have health insurance but still can't afford to pay their medical bills; Kaiser sees another 25 million Americans in this category.
John McCain's plan to help is to offer new tax credits that would make existing insurance plans more affordable. He'd also deregulate the insurance industry in an effort to get them to offer more plans to consumers; he'd also expand federal Health Savings Account programs. McCain would also push to limit medical lawsuits, and even deny federal payments on medical errors and mismanagement.
Barack Obama would create a new national health plan, accepting everyone, despite preexisting conditions, with benefits the same as what Congress gets. With incentives, Obama seeks to get more Americans to choose to be covered; he'd also mandate insurance for all children. Companies who cover their workers will get tax breaks, while those that don't will get to pay into the system.
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So what about teen pregnancy? While many say Bristol Palin's decision is "a beautiful thing," the statistics paint a different picture. Of course, anyone can overcome a statistic, but consider a few of the profound social consequences: Teenage mothers complete high school only 12 percent as often as girls who wait until they are 30, according to Family Planning Perspectives; a boy born to a teen mother is three times as likely to go to prison as other boys, according to the book Kids Having Kids; and daughters of teen mothers are three times as likely as other girls to have a teen pregnancy of their own, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.