For the past 11 months we've listened to President Obama and Governor Romney explain why each of them should be our next president. We've heard a lot about healthcare, Libya, the auto bailout and about a dozen other issues. With so many thing at stake in this election, it's a wonder anyone can keep all the platforms straight. We're taking a look at five issues that affect you this election year: healthcare, education, the economy, energy and equal rights. We've pulled the candidates platforms for each issue directly from their websites.
Two things to keep in mind: 1) We pulled a few points from each of the candidates platforms. (If we printed each platform in its entirety, the website might crash.) 2) The phrasing of these is all on Romney and Obama. You’ll notice Obama talks more about what he accomplished during his first term, while Romney discusses what he will do if elected. All their words, not AP’s.
Consider this the cliff notes-version of those in-depth election guides your local newspaper provides.
• The Affordable Care Act is holding insurance companies accountable, putting an end to the worst abuses, such as capping or dropping your coverage when you get sick.
• The Affordable Care Act is helping people with Medicare save on the care they need to stay healthy—from free preventive services to lower costs on prescription drugs and monthly premiums.
• President Obama is putting an end to the health insurance company practice of charging women more than men for the same coverage.
Read more about Obama's plans healthcare.
• Will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. Will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation.
• Will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a healthcare reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.
• Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage.
Read more about Romney's healthcare platform.
• Fought to prevent federal student loan interest rates from doubling, and capped federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of income.
• Gave states the flexibility to create their own ambitious plans for reform, relieving them of restrictive No Child Left Behind mandates.
• Investing in community colleges to provide education and career-training programs, ensuring that everyone who works hard can get ahead.
• Implemented the Race to the Top initiative, which has helped spur 46 states to raise standards by rewarding innovation and positive reforms in local schools.
• Implemented and expanded the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which has helped more than 800,000 veterans and their families pursue an education.
Read more about Obama's education platform.
• Will tie federal funds directly to dramatic reforms that expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results instead of their tenure.
• Will ensure that students have diverse and affordable options for higher education.
• Allow low income and special needs students to choose which school to attend by making Title I and IDEA funds portable.
• Reform No Child Left Behind by emphasizing transparency and responsibility for results.
• Strengthen and simplify the financial aid system.
Read more about Romney's education platform.
• Doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save consumers more than $8,000 at the pump, and save 12 billion barrels of oil.
• Under President Obama, the U.S. has become a world leader in natural gas, and production is at an all-time high. He is promoting the safe, responsible development of our near 100-year supply of natural gas, which could support more than 600,000 new jobs by the end of the decade.
• Under President Obama, the U.S. is producing more oil than we have in 14 years. He is helping expand domestic oil production by offering millions of acres of land for development—including opening up 75 percent of our oil and gas resources in the Gulf and Arctic—and is improving safety measures to prevent future spills.
• Since President Obama took office, electricity generated from clean energy sources like wind and solar has doubled, and his investments in clean energy and energy efficiency have supported nearly a quarter million jobs.
Read more about Obama's energy platform.
• Establish the most robust five-year offshore lease plan in history that opens new areas for resource development—including off the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas—and sets minimum production targets to increase accountability.
• Approve the Keystone XL pipeline, establish a new regional agreement to facilitate cross-border energy investment, promote and expand regulatory cooperation with Canada and Mexico and institute fast-track regulatory approval processes for cross-border pipelines and other infrastructure.
• Pursue measured reforms of environmental laws and regulations to strengthen environmental protection without destroying jobs or paralyzing industries.
• Promote innovation by focusing the federal government on the job it does best—research and development—and will eliminate any barriers that might prevent new energy technologies from succeeding on their own merits.
Read more about Romney's energy platform.
• U.S. manufacturing has added 459,000 jobs since January 2010—the most growth in a decade.
• Eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and creating incentives for businesses to bring jobs back to America.
• Passed Wall Street reform to make sure that Americans would never again have to pay to bail out big banks.
Read more about Obama's economic platform.
• Initiate review and elimination of all Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy
• Pursue new trade agreements with nations committed to free enterprise and open markets
• Bring federal spending below 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product, by the end of first term.
Read more about Romney's economic platform.
• First sitting president to publicly announce his support for marriage for same-sex couples.
• Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
• Endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act; signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd; Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act; and extended hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights to LGBT couples.
• Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many insurance plans are beginning to fully cover birth control without co-pays or deductibles.
Read more about Obama's platforms for equal rights and women.
• Believes life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view.
• Believes the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. With Roe overturned, states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.
• Supports the Hyde Amendment, which broadly bars the use of federal funds for abortions.
• As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act, but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Read more about Romney's values platform.