Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain’s Health Care Plan Best for Almost Everyone

According to Robert Carroll of the Wall Street Journal, McCain’s health-care insurance tax credit proposal is most misunderstood but “Almost Everyone Would Do Better Under the McCain Health Plan.”

Carroll goes into some detail explaining how the actual McCain proposal contradicts Obama’s statements about it, because the plan “exceeds the value of the current exclusion for all income levels shown.”

The plan would provide more resources for the purchase of health insurance than the existing, or current, exclusion and the total subsidy for health care “would rise from about $3.6 trillion over 10 years today to roughly $5 trillion under his proposal.”

According to some of the nation’s top economists in the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis and estimates by the respected private health-care research firm, The Lewin Group, the McCain credit would increase the number of insured by 15 to 21 million.

The objective of the McCain proposal is to reduce the current tax bias that encourages people to funnel routine health expenses through insurance policies.

It is much more likely to be a plan with higher deductibles that is more focused on providing true insurance against catastrophic losses rather than a more generous plan that includes a lot of prepayment for routine and predictable medical expenses.

Carroll, vice president for economic policy at the Tax Foundation, writes that McCain’s Health Care plan will be good for the economy due to the most important aspect of the proposal.

The unchecked massive unfunded liability associated with the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will “double the size of the federal government by 2040, consuming roughly 40% of the nation's output rather than the 20% today.”

The elimination of the income-tax exclusion would reduce private health-care spending and “put downward pressure on the growth of Medicare and Medicaid costs.”

Thus, by removing the tax bias for more generous health coverage, the McCain health credit also has the potential to provide important dividends to the entitlement problem down the road.

Kevin Sack, of the New York Times, writes “Businesses Wary of Details in Obama Health Plan.”

Obama’s Health Plan to provide affordable coverage for the uninsured by subsidize coverage for the uninsured through the taxing of employers who do not cover their workers is causing many to have doubts.

Health experts and economists believe that Obama might have to require medium to large companies to contribute as much as 6 percent of their payrolls! This could be catastrophic to smaller or low-margin businesses.

Obama has failed to release details of his plan so far. Obama has indicated that the “smallest businesses” might be exempted, but so far he has not defined what size firms would be exempted, nor has he defined the penalty for non-compliance despite McCain’s "badgering" Obama about it in two debates.

Obama’s health care spokesman, David M. Cutler, explained the failure to explain the plan in more detail.

“It’s not that there’s a decision out there that we’re not telling. It’s literally that we’ve decided not to decide.”

Trackposted to Democrat=Socialist, Right Voices, and DragonLady's World, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.


  1. Obama's healthcare plan like Hillary's plan, are very dangerous to this country. Hubby is a doctor, as you already know. He understands first hand the dangers of socialized, government medicine for this country.

    People need to look at Canada and the UK, read on blogs about the national healthcare and how it truly affects individual people. Waiting weeks, months, years for treatment. You get what you pay for...

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth

  2. Yes, and not to mention that Obama's true agenda is to fine families that don't receive his insurance. It is pitiful and will keep a lot of families from going to seek medical treatment! Can America really afford Obama's plan? I hope not!

  3. Sure, it's better if you are a millionnaire. But for the simple city-dwelling non-Americans of Palin's ilk, triple cost, $5,000 taxable income which would buy me 2month's worth of insurance and pre-existing conditions would negate any health insurance at all.

  4. True, McCain's plan is only better if you're already rich and can add that $5000/family to your millions to buy fancy full coverage insurances. This article fails to mention that McCain plans to tax your employer provided health benefits, as well as taking away the tax incentive for employers to provide insurance. $5000/yr for an entire family doesn't go very far after your job stops paying for your insurance. He keeps talking about competition, buying insurance out of state, how many of your local doctors actually accept insurances across the country? Joe six pack doesn't own a private jet to fly to doctors' appointments. At this critical time for Medicare, he talks about reducing Medicare spending?! Ask any doctor how much he gets paid by Medicare, some doctors don't even bother filing for Medicare reimbursement because it's not worth their billers' time. There's definitely room for reform (negotiate drug prices, like Obama proposes, etc), but to reduce spending?! McCain's gonna put a bunch of seniors out of their healthcare as well as working class Americans

  5. This article is a piece of junk. McCain is going to tax health benefits, a monumental shift in the regressive direction. Any decent analysis would mention this. What if he passes this part of the plan, and his fake-y tax credit part doesn't pass? Boom, the tax payer takes another hit. Meanwhile they are painting Obama as the tax raiser, a totally fabricated claim, except on people about $250k, while McCain tax hike is right here in plain sight, but the media, and this crummy writer, refuse to acknowledge it. Its misleading, its corrupt and its an insult to readers and voter.

    I also take exception to your banner. This country is not divided: it is almost unanimous in its dissatisfaction with George Bush, and McCain is not much different.

  6. i am constantly amazed by the ignorance of the american people when it comes to healthcare, i work in the insurance industry, i have read both plans being offered by the candidates, i only have one question-John McCain, where can i sign up for my 5k insurance plan. this is a man who is so out of touch with the reality of what the cost of insurance is. i just finished my open enrollment, btwn healthcare, dental, flex spending(which you have to have nowadays) my ded in my paycheck will be 346.08 bi weekly, that is what it is cost me, my employer picks up the lions share of it. after taxes that is a 1/3 of my pay. for the year the cost is 8998.08, is the Republican Party going to pick up the cost after the 5k tax credit? i just need an answer, i am no joe the plumber, i am carole the realist.

  7. I want to see how you are talking when/and if Obama gets into office and you are on socialized healthcare. I lived in the UK for 2 years, their national health coverage is a joke. You may wait 2-3 years for surgery..they decide when and if you need it...your medicines are provided for a lower fee however you get the bare minimum and not always what is best for you. The doctors are over worked and burnt out--they could care less and they don't listen. My husband is Scottish and has biploar disorder and a serious umbilical hernia he developed rectal bleeding(which they ignored)--- its one complaint per person and they arent going to deal with anymore--they decide what is wrong with in 2 minutes of you arriving for an appointment and if your doctor's 1st language is English , you are one of the lucky ones. Is this what the USA wants??? Poor deceived masses.

  8. I'm Canadian, my husband has had a coronary care incident, I've had a child here, and we get wellness checks on a regular basis. We've never had any significant waits of any duration. I just don't get the extreme fear of the Canadian system. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  9. I have lived in both England and America, and the British system is better by far.

    You get medical treatment on demand without it putting you into bankruptcy. True, you might wait for an operation but only if it is non-urgent.

    Immediate needs are dealt with... immediately.

    If you are rich in America then you have access to the medical system. If you're not rich... then good luck.

    I've traveled around the world and have never seen such inequity as in this country, the rich do great... and they are supported, through the unfair tax system, by the rest.

    Good luck America, we're going to need it if this carries on.

  10. My husband is an md. - I was in alternative health for years before starting our family. Truth is neither plan gives us enough details to answer all the needs and quagmires present in the current system. The big profiteers in our current system are the insurance companies and hmo's, ppo's ... as well as the drug and medical device companies. The med system is a different animal than the business model. Med professionals make tremendous sacrifices to be able to do this work but must practice such "defensive" medicine adding cost to everyone's bill (answer: tort reform, EFFECTIVE peer policing of doctors, safety for doctors with good records who have a bad outcome). Right now, medicine is already socialized to a great extent by capitalist standards for all the key players. Doctors cannot organize, unionize or strike. They cannot set their own prices for their services - insurance companies set the reimbursements. Unlike a retail clothier who can charge what the market will bear for their label, doctors cannot do this in the current system. So your doctor is not being rewarded by higher pay because his patients get better care, surgeons who have lower morbities and fewer mortalities, fewer days in the hospital also are not necessarily rewarded by the free market. When insurance companies cut their reimbursements to make their bottom line blacker and give the appearance of better administration, it is on the backs of the very people delivering the care - who cannot effectively rally to protest. 25 years ago, doctors made better livings, but did not police themselves well enough. HMO's, etc. were supposed to fix this, but the business folks organizing also don't police themselves - so the wealth just got redistributed.

    If we aspire to be so civilized as to say that health care is a right not a privelege, we had best get cozy with and learn all we can from our socialized medicine neighbors instead of demonize them AND ask their insiders how they would do things differently if given the power to fix the very real problems. They at least have their hands all messy with trying to do the right thing. We need to ask what contribution the free market system has made to our excellence and make sure that meritocratic system is rewarding where it pays dividends that matter the best. We need all our best ideas on all sides if we are going to craft something that is going to honor our legacy as the best healthcare in the world and figure out how to make it available to all before it implodes. We need to confront our assumptions about the free market as well and decide, is it ok for someone who has worked hard for maybe 23 years of training to profit from their work? How can someone withhold life-saving medical care based on ability to pay? What work do we as a society value? We send some pretty schizophrenic messages. We all need to grow up collectively.

    I know my husband cannot work harder than he does. He is amazing, but not God. I know that half his billing is never collected. He is one of those special ones who does the right thing and basically gets a paycut every year per surgery. I could go on with more pearls for the length of an entire commission, but I will stop today.

    Oh. We're both going Obama this year. His plan is not the great answer, but he has gathered smarter people in the room who are poised for transformation. We will be taxed 3% more - and 250k does not go that far on the east coast. The bill just arrived at the table though and it has to be paid. I do not want to wash dishes for the Chinese and Russian governments. Fiscal conservatives is what we are and we pay our bills - and apparently others' as well.

  11. And with no regulation on major entities, like universities, a doctor's educational cost is exorbitant, so he must recoup his money to pay his debt...he certainly would not be charging his patients high fees just out of greed. This problem is bigger than just healthcare!

  12. Frankly, there should be rewards installed (maybe in the form of tax deductions) for PREVENTIVE healthcare.

    Healthcare costs are a vortex of several disasters, that could be minimized by "thinking outside the box" and working from the preventive end and including alternative approaches to medicine. Of course, this latter idea would mean the pharmaceutical and medical industries would have to set greed aside and actually care about people's HEALTH.

  13. how do you get that we want socialized medicine, has anyone really read the obama plan or are we all listening to sound bites. if you are not informed on how health insurance works take the time to learn,the system is broken, whether it is mdcr, medicaid or commercial insurance. there are too many inconsistencies. How can a phys in one part of the country charge 60.00 for an office visit and another phys charge 120.00 for the same type of visit, they both are obviously doctors, they both have educations to validate their MD status. i talk to over 100 people a day about insurance, something that is this important in your life should not be an afterthought. Health insurance is a BENEFIT that is offered by your employer, it is not an entitlement, too many Americans feel that is. i feel the frustration everyday when i talk with people about there benefits, but i also hear the lack of education about how their plans work and when i try to explain i am generally met with resistance and disdain because it is not the answer they are looking for. i can tell you one thing, almost everyone i speak with says the same thing in regards to these two plans that the candidates are offering, McCain's is going to hurt people are going to lose their insurance, at least with the Obama plan there is some hope.