I didn't know this until today but the key difference is that Obama wants a company to charge the same rate for everyone, no matter their age and health. Some states do this already, Massachusetts for one. But healthy, young people will pay more which may cause them to drop coverage which will make rates go up even more because the pool of insured people is left with higher risk people. But how many people will really drop insurance coverage? It's risky to be uninsured and if health care is affordable enough there won't be incentive to take that risk. This drop out effect would be avoided by requiring everyone have coverage, Hilary Clinton was on to something. Some people speculate that if Obama is elected he will change over to the required coverage model.
There's a big problem with McCain's plan to allow people to buy coverage across state lines. Everyone who lives in a state that is required to insure regardless of preexisting conditions and is healthy will find cheaper insurance in states that insure based on health. Anyone who's healthier than average can find a cheaper plan so maybe 30-40% of people will leave for a cheaper plan. As more healthy people leave the plan, only people with bad health would be left in the plan and the insurance company has to charge more. This will probably destroy state plans. We will go from a few states insuring people regardless of health to zero states.
I am happy that I have been able to find out where both of them stand, directly from their websites. It takes a bunch of digging around though, I have spent probably close to 8 hours on this the past 2 days. Maybe just maybe I have some facts in a world of spin and lies. I am okay with people having different priorities but I get very discouraged when the basic facts are disputed. I also wish there was a source I could count on to do the kind of analysis I just did. But maybe that's impossible. This same analysis is surely out there somewhere but I wouldn't trust it if I read it. I also sort of wish Obama campaign would come out and say "If you are young and healthy you will probably pay more but I will try to make it not too much more." Although I wouldn't want him to lose because of his honesty. Both campaigns try to make it seem like their plans involve hardly any sacrifices, and that just discourages me because I don't believe it and then I don't know what to believe. There are some things that will make health care less expensive for everyone but in that case, both candidates will do it, neither of them are stupid. I didn't mention any of these because my purpose here was to find the difference between the two candidates. I have been trying to end the entry on a positive note but just decided that it feels dishonest to do so.