Obama vs. Romney 101: 6 ways they differ on health-care reform

Former Gov. Mitt Romney has taken a libertarian turn since championing health-care reforms in Massachusetts, including an individual mandate to purchase insurance, which became the model for President Obama's signature law. Here’s a list of areas where the candidates differ.

5. Medicaid

Charles Dharapak/AP/File
Mitt Romney stands with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has expressed reservations about his state's role in the expansion of Medicaid through President Obama's health-care law, in this June 27 file photo.

A centerpiece of the ACA is expansion of Medicaid – the health-insurance system for low-income and disabled Americans – which would have insured some 17 million additional people if implemented as originally envisioned. But in upholding the ACA, the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion without penalty; so far at least six Republican-led states, including Texas and Florida, have chosen not to expand their states' programs.

Romney proposes turning the federal portion of Medicaid funding into block grants, or lump-sum payments. Annual growth would be capped at the rate of inflation plus 1 percent. Democrats say that given high inflation in health care, the Romney plan would underfund the program, forcing states to cut people from the Medicaid rolls and/or reduce services.  

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