Since you probably didn’t find much substantive analysis of McCain’s health care plan in the traditional media, bloggers have taken up the task. And it isn’t pretty.
It’s easy to make health policy when you don’t allow little things like facts to constrain you: when you can wish away chronic diseases, pretend that corporations are completely unresponsive to changes in the tax structure, and describe programs that leave people with hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care costs as ‘making sure that they get the high-quality coverage they need.’ It’s just not particularly helpful. Plus, it would be even better with ponies.
…allow me to summarize:
1. Don’t get sick.
2. Here’s a tax break that will not help you one iota, because you can’t afford health insurance in the first place.
3. Let me make sure your employer takes away your HMO, which is sadly all you have — voila! now you don’t even have that.
4. Now, divorce your spouse and look to marry a rich person — worked for me.
I am frankly amazed he offered this as a “solution.”
First, he is simply shunting the problem off to the states.
Second, he implies that one or more states have figured out what to do with people who can’t get health insurance because of preexisting conditions. Just which state is that? I don’t know of a single state that has been able to provide widely available access to health insurance for people who cannot get it.
Third, just who would finance this pool? States have tried so called high risk pools before. Time and again they are swamped by people trying to get in and there is never enough money. Since they have never worked before, how would they work this time?
After John McCain unveiled more details on his healthcare plan yesterday in Tampa, the Politico ran this headline: “McCain moves to middle on health care.” … Only if the “middle” is the area in which bad policy proposals get run over.
By eliminating state-created mandates to insure individuals for a variety of maladies, McCain would really end up hurting the sick and chronically ill, leaving them with no insurance. An unregulated market would simply refuse to insure people by the millions in an effort to maximize their costs by insuring only the healthy. You know, the way it is now – only worse, because the states would be unable to look out for their own citizens, and insurance companies would start a race to the bottom, bribing states with their business in exchange for lax regulation. The McCain campaign’s response to this? Let the market sort it out!
There isn’t much choice, there’s not much competition; and, it’s neither affordable nor available.
Yesterday, McCain met with a father and son at a Florida hospital and listened to the father’s story of his struggle to pay for his son’s health care. But McCain didn’t mention that his plan would leave that nine-year-old boy without coverage. How’s that for straight talk?
…while [the media] were eating up the McCain campaign’s perfectly staged photo op, they left some things out. Like for instance, that while John McCain was pretending to care about sick children, they never mentioned he voted against funding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) because it covered too many uninsured children.
Center for American Progress fellow Elizabeth Edwards, who has in the past pointed out that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) health care policies would exclude people with preexisting conditions like herself, appeared on MSNBC today to discuss the issue. Noting that employer-based health care typically costs families about $12,000, Edwards explained that McCain’s paltry $5,000 tax credit proposal is woefully inadequate.
The organization I work for pays an average of $15,600 a year per employee for a family plan and approximately $6,000 for individual coverage. McCain’s plan would leave a family with over 10 grand a year to pay. That’s not going to cut it. What is there about people not being able to afford things that Republicans find so very hard to understand?
Let’s do the arithmetic. McCain’s benefit will amount to less than half of current rates to cover a family. You are on your own as far as buying insurance goes, and it’s going to cost you way more than $5000 out of your own pocket if you’re covering a spouse and/or children. So in effect, you’re already behind with McCain if you currently have employer-based coverage, unless you happen to work for Ebenezer Scrooge.
It is amazing what happens to a lifelong Republican when they give up on their party and start thinking for themselves. In that statement I am referring to myself because until a few years ago I could be counted on the back the good old GOP at election time because of my conservative beliefs. However, President Bush and other members of the Republican Party have helped me see the error of my ways over the past three or four years and now I consider myself a proud independent American that is thinking for himself for the first time in years. While listening to some sound bites on television today where John McCain was talking about health care in America, I once again discovered why I left the GOP and also why that was a smart decision. There are no new ideas when it comes to improving health care in America from the Republican Party, because the powers that be in the Republican party, including presidential candidate John McCain are living in the past and have no desire to edge toward the future.
If digesting all the details of McCain’s plan is making you sick, perhaps a brand new installment of “PopUp DoubleTalk” will perk you up:
UPDATE: Firedoglake weighs in:
The bottom line: McCain hasn’t even tried to achieve universal coverage, or even coverage for today’s uninsured children. His mechanisms for controlling costs are ideological fantasies. McCain’s tax changes — from business deductions to individual credits — would be a radical experiment, with no assurance it would work, serious doubts that it would be paid for, and no solution for the fundamental problems of relying on the private insurance industry to ration health care and control prices. It’s extremely unlikely Americans would be better off, but quite likely the transition would be a mess. However, the insurance companies would love it.