Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why John McCain is Bad on Health Care

"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."-John McCain

McCain's whole approach to health care reform is market based. He believes that opening up health insurance markets will somehow create relatively low-cost insurance policies that will allow Americans to pay less for health care. There are three components to his plan:

1. End the health insurance deduction for companies that provide health insurance for their employees;

2. Tax health insurance premiums paid by employers as income for the employees; and

3. Give employees a tax credit which they can use to purchase health insurance. Single employees would get a $2500.00 tax credit, married employees would get a $5,000.00 tax credit.

Here are the problems:

1. There is no evidence that employees could obtain the same coverage they are getting now from their employers for either $2,500.00 or $5,000.00.

2. Most of us don't have the expertise of corporate human resource personnel to know what to ask when we are purchasing health insurance on our own.

3. Federal regulation, or lack thereof, of health insurance companies could lead to the same problems in the health insurance field that we recently saw in the financial service field. Would anyone want to see the problems of AIG manifest themselves with a health insurance company?

So, if you want to pay taxes on your employer provided health insurance; give an incentive for your employer to get rid of your health insurance plan; and trust the health insurance industry not to make the same mistakes we have recently seen in the financial services sector, then by all means, vote for John McCain. High paid health insurance executives will be glad you did.

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