HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

McCain's Health Plan

USAToday runs a short story on McCain's proposed health care plan.  David Jackson writes,
McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, wants everyone to get a tax credit to either buy insurance or offset the taxes on health care coverage obtained through work. The Arizona senator says variety and competition will help bring down costs. Bush has a similar tactic, offering tax deductions for health care costs.

"My approach to transforming health care is to put families in charge," McCain said Monday at Miami Children's Hospital in Florida, a possible swing state this fall.

Reuters news service provides more details on his plan and states,

On a campaign swing to highlight his health care proposals, the Arizona senator said he wanted to put individuals in charge of their health care, foster competition in insurance markets and reduce the prevalence of employer-based plans.  "Americans need new choices beyond those offered in employment-based coverage. Americans want a system built so that wherever you go and wherever you work, your health plan goes with you," McCain said at a Tampa cancer research hospital.

At the heart of McCain's plan is a tax credit of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families that could be used to leave an employer-based plan and purchase cheaper, more suitable insurance on the open market -- creating competition that would lower the price.

"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," he said. . . .

Clinton called McCain's approach "radical" and suggested it could force millions to lose their employer-based insurance.  "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," she said in a statement.

McCain said he would not force anyone to leave an employer-based program and would seek solutions for those with pre-existing medical conditions, including creating gap coverage and working with states that create insurance pools for high-risk individuals.

"Those without prior group coverage and those with pre-existing conditions do have the most difficulty on the individual market, and we need to make sure they get the high-quality coverage they need," McCain said. . . .

Elizabeth Edwards responds to McCain's health care plan here.  Hint:  She is not a big fan.

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