Republicans: Fix the system through cost containment. Republicans haven't traditionally seen health care as a top prioritybut they are increasingly concerned about skyrocketing premiums, which have risen four times as fast as wages since 2000. They oppose government control of the health-care industry and mandates for health insurance. Favorite solutions include converting to electronic medical records, limiting malpractice suits and encouraging preventive care.
Democrats: Achieve universal access to health care. Democrats all agree on a goal of universal health-care coverage that includes the 47 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Some plans would set up a public health-care system and allow Americans to choose between the government-regulated system, which would work like Medicare, or a pool of private plans. All employers, except very small ones, must cover their workers. Democrats would pay for the system by rolling back Bush's tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year. They endorse giving patients the right to sue hmos for medical costs and damages.