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McCain's "health care plan" is a scam - Phil's Rambling Rants
September 30th, 2008
12:52 pm


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McCain's "health care plan" is a scam
Our disintegrating health care system is second only to energy as the most important issue in the current election.  Almost everyone is worried about the economy in a personal way right now, and if the biggest reason you're worried about your own personal financial situation right now isn't whether you'll continue to have health care you can pay for, you're either very wealthy or you have your head in the sand.  Both candidates are campaigning on this issue; they both say it's important and they say they have a plan for dealing with it.  I actually gave McCain some credit for what he said about his health plan.  The McCain plan, as I understood it, was this:  health benefits from a job would become taxable.  Everyone, with employer provided insurance, insurance they got on their own, or no insurance, gets a $5000 refundable tax credit.  And all health plans are opened up to everyone, and we all shop for the best deal.  The centerpiece of this plan, without which it is worthless, is a guarantee that insurance companies would have to take everybody with no pre-existing condition limits.

Well, this morning I heard the McCain plan explained a little more completely.  There IS no guarantee that real health plans would actually have to cover anyone who actually needs medical services.  Instead, there's an explicit arrangement where "high risk" patients get to be in a special pool, where it's as certain as the sun coming up tomorrow that the coverage will stink, the premiums will be astronomical, and the bureaucratic hurdles will be high.  All the healthy people get to have lower health care costs because all the sick people have to get together and take care of themselves.

If that sounds like a good idea to you, you must not know anybody with actual health problems.

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(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
Why not just distribute the lowly scum amongst all the good healthy accounts, thus spreading the risk? After all, it worked SO well with mortgages...

IMHO, people are blind to the past. Healthcare should not be a for-profit business, but a public trust like fire or police. Otherwise the next virulent disease that comes along will go through the poor first, then up the ladder to the rich. And no money will save the rich then - failure to see ahead is fatal. Of course that flies in the face of our deregulation-happy party in charge which believes I should pay fewer taxes but 150$/month to the Time Warner monopoly.
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Damn, that's a bit of a disappointment.

Plus, if I remember right, there's going to be some sort of tax on the employer's contribution to employee health insurance plans that is going to make it more likely that employers will quit offering health insurance.

[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
I wasn't aware of a specific tax on the employer. Just changing the assumptions so that it's even slightly acceptable for a professional position to not include health care will mean that most jobs will be cutting even more deeply into their health benefits. Employers are getting killed by health care inflation while most employees only really notice how expensive it is when they lose their jobs and have to pay their own premiums.
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I seriously doubt that John McCain has ever had to look at any of his own cancer medical bills. I suspect that they get passed unopened to an accountant who has enough funds at his command to pay them without disturbing the Mister and Missus of the house. From thence could easily come the Mister's false sense of "hey, I don't have any problems (and neither do any of my friends), so it must be the same way for everyone else in the country."
[User Picture]
Date:October 1st, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
Even if he weren't hugely wealthy, he's a Senator. The best health care available will always be a perk of HIS job, even if it's no longer part of any ordinary person's.
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