The McCain Healthcare Plan: Tax Credits

ImageToday, John McCain trotted out the same old “healthcare reform” that Republicans have been pushing for years. How would McCain help the 48 million people who currently lack health insurance? Once again, tax credits are his answer for everything.

McCain’s plan would not provide coverage for the uninsured, but would also destroy the employer based healthcare system, by making the employer insurance tax credit voluntary and replacing it with an individual tax credit.

“Every year, they would receive a tax credit directly, with the same cash value of the credits for employees in big companies, in a small business, or self-employed. You simply choose the insurance provider that suits you best. By mail or online, you would then inform the government of your selection. And the money to help pay for your health care would be sent straight to that insurance provider. The health plan you chose would be as good as any that an employer could choose for you. It would be yours and your family’s health-care plan, and yours to keep,” McCain said.

McCain continued, “The value of that credit — 2,500 dollars for individuals, 5,000 dollars for families — would also be enhanced by the greater competition this reform would help create among insurance companies. Millions of Americans would be making their own health-care choices again. Insurance companies could no longer take your business for granted, offering narrow plans with escalating costs. It would help change the whole dynamic of the current system, putting individuals and families back in charge, and forcing companies to respond with better service at lower cost.”

Here is the major problem with McCain’s plan. In order to qualify for the tax credit a person would first have to buy an insurance policy. If you can’t afford an insurance policy, then you get no credit. This plan in essence does nothing to help the people who can’t afford health insurance. In fact, his plan would make the healthcare crisis worse, by taking away the employer incentive to provide healthcare. McCain’s idea is to pass the burden on to individuals.

After McCain’s speech, Hillary Clinton said, “John McCain is proposing a radical plan that would mean millions of Americans would lose their job-based coverage: The McCain plan eliminates the policies that hold the employer-based health insurance system together, so while people might have a ‘choice’ of getting such coverage , employers would have no incentive to provide it. This means 158 million Americans with job-based coverage today could be at risk of losing the insurance they have come to depend upon.”

The McCain plan is just another Republican shell game to reward business at the expense of the individual. McCain wants to say that he is different from Bush, but in this case, he is offering average Americans the exact same screw job that they have been getting for the past 7+ years.

I don’t care which Democrat you support, McCain’s healthcare plan is further evidence of why he must be stopped in November.

McCain’s Speech:

Hillary Clinton Statement:

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