As we head into the final month of the presidential campaign, Barack Obama is launching a major attack on John McCain’s healthcare plan that includes speeches, four new TV ads, four new mailers, and radio ads in battleground states. Obama calls McCain’s plan radical and says millions could end up uninsured.
Today in Newport News, VA, Obama accused McCain of pulling a bait and switch, “You see, Senator McCain would pay for his plan, in part, by taxing your health care benefits for the first time in history. And this tax would come out of your paycheck. But the new tax credit he’s proposing? That wouldn’t go to you. It would go directly to your insurance company — not your bank account. So when you read the fine print, it’s clear that John McCain is pulling an old Washington bait and switch. It’s a shell game. He gives you a tax credit with one hand — but raises your taxes with the other.”
Obama also brought up the point that McCain’s plan drops encourages younger workers to buy their own plan, and employers will be left with older, sicker employees to cover, “And here’s something else Senator McCain won’t tell you. When he taxes people’s benefits, many younger, healthier workers will decide that it’s a better deal to opt out of the insurance they get at work — and instead, go out into the individual market, where they can buy a cheaper plan. Many employers will be left with an older, sicker pool of workers who they can’t afford to cover. As a result, many employers will drop their health care plans altogether. And study after study has shown, that under the McCain plan, at least 20 million Americans will lose the insurance they rely on from their workplace.
Here is the first Obama TV ad about McCain’s plan:
The McCain campaign accused Obama of lying, but only said that McCain would reform the tax code, and didn’t mention healthcare. The McCain plan is actually the same Republican healthcare plan that has been floating around since the days of Reagan. What you need to understand is that this plan isn’t based on providing better health insurance. It is rooted in the ideologies of privatization, the free market, and big business.
Obama has not lied about anything, but I do wish that his campaign would mention the part of McCain’s plan that would eliminate the employer tax credit for providing healthcare. The McCain philosophy of privatization won’t work unless the current employer based system is taken apart. The McCain plan would allow the insurance companies to not insurance the sick, and it would do nothing to help the currently uninsured, because a person would only qualify for the tax credit, AFTER they buy a policy. What if the insurance companies won’t insure a person, or what if they are deemed a risk, and their premiums cost more than the tax credit?
I am not for government run healthcare, and I think we need to find a way to get the currently uninsured into the system. Our nation provides great healthcare, and the point of any new plan should be access to that care, not changing the entire system. McCain’s plan would deny more people access to the system. This isn’t change. It’s an expansion of ideological politics. Healthcare is an important issue, and Obama has an obligation to point out the consequences of the McCain plan.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association