Wednesday, April 30, 2008

McCain Offers Market-Based Health Plan

John Rueberry over at Marathon Pundit posted a video with McCain talking about his plan. I like it but I want to see some of his details. There are community health centers and walk-in clinics. Both account for the difficulty in access and perhaps the idea that people need not go to an emergency room for treatment especially if it isn't an emergency.

Well here's what the Washington Post has to say...
Sen. John McCain on Tuesday rejected calls by his Democratic opponents for universal health coverage, instead offering a market-based solution with an approach similar to a proposal put forth by President Bush last year.

McCain's belief in the power of the free market to meet the nation's health-care needs sets up a stark choice for voters this fall in terms of the care they could receive, the role the government would play and the importance they place on the issue.


McCain's prescription would seek to lure workers away from their company health plans with a $5,000 family tax credit and a promise that, left to their own devices, they would be able to find cheaper insurance that is more tailored to their health-care needs and not tied to a particular job.

Under McCain's plan, $3.6 trillion worth of tax breaks over a decade that would have gone to businesses for coverage of their employees would be redirected to individuals, regardless of whether they are covered by a company plan.

"Insurance companies could no longer take your business for granted, offering narrow plans with escalating costs," McCain said. "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."

But it also leaves McCain open to criticism that he is not doing enough for the poor and sick, who could face steep premiums and limited choices as they search for an insurance company willing to cover them. Critics of McCain's plan said it would do little to help people already struggling with health-care costs.

Unlike his Democratic opponents, for instance, McCain would not mandate coverage for people with preexisting conditions who have not already been covered by a company health insurance plan. Critics say that would leave millions of people without coverage.

"Our next president has to get health-care costs under control. But like President Bush, John McCain won't stop rising health-care costs," asserts the Service Employees International Union, which has endorsed Obama, in a new television ad running in the swing state of Ohio. "When it comes to making health care affordable . . . we'll still be feeling the pain."

McCain sought to answer those charges Tuesday by saying he would create what he called a guaranteed access plan, or GAP, to help provide coverage of last resort for the sick and other "high-risk" people until the marketplace has matured enough to take care of them.

He gave few details of how such a program would work, who would run it or how it would be financed. He said it might be operated by a nonprofit organization with funds from the federal and state governments. And he said he would work with governors to solicit ideas from their experiences with similar state-run programs.

McCain advisers said such a program could cost as much as $7 billion a year. But McCain vowed not to "create another entitlement program that Washington will let get out of control." He added: "Nor will I saddle states with another unfunded mandate."


In his own television commercial, which began running Tuesday across Iowa, McCain says, "I can characterize my approach on health care by choice and competition, affordability and availability."

Again from the Washington Post the opposition to McCain's plans by the SEIU.

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