Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

New Studies Report Wide Disparity in Health Care Plans

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Barack Obama and John McCain are both proposing more than $100 billion a year in spending for health care, but the candidates' plans have vastly different goals, and vastly different outcomes.

New studies from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the policy journal Health Affairs suggest that Obama's proposal would eventually cover more than 34 million of the roughly 47 million Americans currently without insurance, while McCain's would cover at best 5 million uninsured.

Obama's plan relies on a variety of measures to reduce the number of uninsured, such as increasing the number of people in programs such as Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, requiring all children to have insurance and offering subsidies for people who cannot currently afford insurance.

Obama's plan was crafted with the intention of creating universal health insurance, although both studies suggest some people would remain uninsured. McCain, meanwhile, touts his plan as one that will rely more on the consumer market to reform health care.

Currently, the value of a person's health care plan is not taxed, creating essentially a subsidy by the government for health care. McCain would tax health benefits while creating a $5,000 tax credit -- $5,000 for families or $2,500 for individuals -- to subscribe for insurance coverage. The studies assume that millions of Americans will use this credit to purchase health care and that some businesses will drop employees from their health insurance plans, resulting in some people losing insurance as well.

Both proposals would face an uphill climb to becoming law. Virtually all congressional Democrats are opposed to McCain's health care vision, which they believe would destroy the employer-based health care system and replace it with one that benefits the young and healthy but not people who are older or sick. (Health insurance companies charge much higher prices for people who are older or have chronic illnesses.)

With the federal budget deficit increasing and a huge list of other projects already proposed, it's not clear that a Democratic Congress would push through Obama's health-care plan either. Some congressional Democrats are already touting more modest goals, such as making sure that all children have health insurance.

By Post Editor  |  September 16, 2008; 10:00 PM ET
Categories:  Health Care  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Biden Back on Track with Amtrak
Next: As Palin Joins Planned Protest Against Iran, Clinton Cancels

Comments

Palin Email Hacker is Son of Democrat Tennessee State Senator Mike Kernell according to the FBI.
David Kernell, a college student has been positively identified as the perp who hacked Sarah Palin's Yahoo account.
State Rep. Mike Kernell said today that he was aware of Internet rumors about his son being the subject of speculation that he accessed the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Asked whether he or his son, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, had been contacted by authorities investigating the break-in of Palin's account, he responded:
"Me, no."
As far as his 20-year-old son, David, he said: "I can't say. That doesn't mean he has or hasn't (been contacted by investigators."
Kernell, D-Memphis, cited the father-son relationship.
He said he had talked to his son today, but that he talks to his son regularly.
He declined further comment.

Posted by: wired | September 18, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Social Security and Education are two great examples of why we don't want Washington and bureaucrats managing our healthcare. Great campaign promises, sure to get lots of votes for both candidates but show me you can manage the goverment programs that already exist before creating new ones. --

Posted by: Trajan | September 18, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The 800 pound gorilla in the room and underlying issue in the debate over covering more Americans with health insurance is that unless we get control of costs we will never resolve the debate over how to provide coverage. What we know about costs is that our disease burden or the number of people who are sick in this country is increasing and we are spending 75 percent of our health care dollar as a result. We need to do a better job of preventing disease and managing it when it occurs.

This will take new federal (including looking at how, not how much, we reimburse physicians and others) and state policies as well as employer being more aggressive in working with their employees who have a chronic disease. This all matters because the impact is not just what we spend on health care, but this disease burden is weighing down our economy.

Those with chronic diseases can and often are more absent and less productive in the workplace.

For more information, visit: www.fightchronicdisease.org.

Posted by: Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D. | September 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I also lived in Germany for many years as a child and recieved excellent medical care, including orthdontic work. I believe that some sacrifice in care is more than justified if it allows equal access to health care.

Posted by: Tarah | September 18, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

To "Norm":
"Wow, talk about not using facts and using propaganda. I know folks in canada and have a personal friend who is a german and who's currently a doctor in france. The wait for health care is real."

I lived in Germany for year- there was NO- and I mean NO- wait for health care. I was able to see a doctor of my choice, usually on the same day I called, and received excellent treatment with lots of direct attention from the doctor, not nurses. When I moved back to the states, I found myself in a system where I have had to wait as long as 8 months for an appointment with a specialist, where I cannot see my GP even in an emergency without a crazy screening by several nurses and then, if they agree that it is an emergency,a 3-5 hour waiting room wait for 3 minutes of the doctor's time, and if they don't agree, an appointment in 2 weeks. The doctors are always rushed & harried and never remember you. In Germany, that was never the case. Anyone who thinks we've got the best health care system in the world has their head in a paper bag, and anyone who thinks that universal health insurance will cause things to get worse is simply ignorant. You CAN insure everyone and even have much higher standards of care than we have. (By the way, I paid a fraction of the cost I have paid here.).

Posted by: CEP | September 17, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I see the argument between "socialist" insurance Vs. Private, but who is McCain trying to fool?? The Bush Administration, which will in fact be the same administration, with different names under McCain have Socialized The "Free" Market of America allready, why else would we be bailing out every company that cant keep their books straight.
McCain doesnt get it , his advisors dont get it. His advisors are one and the same of the people who have gotten The USA in the financial pinch were in, and they want to control our insurance too??
NO FREAKIN WAY, not in this lifetime.

Posted by: Yeah | September 17, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Norm: I do not believe that health insurance costs will come down if health care costs are reduced by any method. I was once told that insurance companies are not malevolent. I believe that they are. Why should a patient be looked at as a consumer, rather than a person in need of help? You can decide weather or not to buy a plasma screen TV, but your type of insurance can decide weather an illness can be cured. And I guess an insurance company can decide if you deserve to be treated, or if they believe in the treatment. If all of the taxes I have paid in my life, I had been able to direct to healthcare, or save for healthcare, I could self insure. Congress voted to increase schip funding. Bush chose to veto that and McCain stood by. I view that as taxation without representation.

Posted by: J Lauber | September 17, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Let me see if I have this straight:

Ensuring everyone has adequate affordable healthcare (regardless of pre-existing conditions) is called "socialism," but giving away (please don’t call it a loan because it isn’t) federal money to investment banks who gambled it all away isn't??"

No, adequate afforadable healthcare for everyone does not have to be socialism. Anyone with $300 can go out and find an adequate PC, pretty much because of pure capitialism. Anyone can afford some kind of phone service in part because of competition, in part because of regulation. There are all sorts of ways to accomplish things.

I personally think some kind of combined approach is required.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

It's called competition which when I was single I enjoyed toying with from time to time, but it is still annoying that I do have to pay for items and coverages in my insurance that i'll never use and don't want. Now yes insurance companies are in business to make money... it's what any business does, otherwise they are no longer a business. Now I'm not an expert in healthcare dynamics, but market dynamics are not foreign to me and competition works wonders, for consumers and providers. Choice never hurts is all i'm saying and choice is something that's constantly being taken from us. Besides what i suggest would have to come on the heels of Torte reform as well. Some of the friends I have that are doctors here in the U.S. pay unbelievable lawsuit insurance premiums against someone who'll sue them for 10 million dollars if the bandaid they put on a cut hurts too much. Once the courts are brought back into check health care costs will come down.

Posted by: Norm | September 17, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Why can't all Americans have the same Health Care plan as the Politicians ? Ask Congress if after the November elections they're going to vote themselves a pay raise ? They do this after every Presidential Election.

Posted by: SadAmerican | September 17, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The chances of either one of these health care proposals becoming law are approximately that of a snowball in hell. They are just for public consumption during the campaigns and not anything that will become reality.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight Norm. You actually trust the insurance companies to give you a better rate if they don't have to assume certian risks? I got news for you, insurance companies no longer assume risk. Most companies have a policy of 100% denial of claims and count on the sick , elderly and the frustrated to not re-submit claims. We would do better if the government allowed everyone to invest in health savings plans regardless of weather they made insurance companies richer or not. Hey, I heard you and I just bought AIG. Wonder if I can lower my own premium?

Posted by: J Lauber | September 17, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this straight:

Ensuring everyone has adequate affordable healthcare (regardless of pre-existing conditions) is called "socialism," but giving away (please don’t call it a loan because it isn’t) federal money to investment banks who gambled it all away isn't??

Simply put, you don't have to like Obama or the Democrats. That’s your choice. But, if you think that McCain or George W. Bush or any Republican has ever or will ever have your interests at heart you are a very, very foolish person indeed who is wholly responsible for the disastrous predicament this country is in.

For the people who are dumb enough to think that they have a "great" health insurance policy. Uhhh...no, you don't. You have a policy with a company who's sole objective is to maximize profits. If you or your family ever get sick they can and will refuse to cover you for ANY reason they want. This happens EVERY SINGLE DAY. Why on earth do you think it wouldn't happen to you?

Posted by: Al | September 17, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Listen, Obama Plan and MCCain's Plan: Both cost $100 Billion

Obama Plan: covers 34 million more people.

McCain Plan: covers only 5 million more people.

Is that simple enough? Can anyone say McCain's plan is better when it costs the same but covers only 14% as many new people?

Posted by: bgjd1979 | September 17, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

haha.. someone actually quoted "sicko" as a source for their knowledge on socialist health care. Wow, talk about not using facts and using propaganda. I know folks in canada and have a personal friend who is a german and who's currently a doctor in france. The wait for health care is real. Emergency care, yeah you can get Emergency life threatening care if you go to the emergency room, but regular health care, surgeries, medical procedures, you're going to wait and a while before you get any of that so I hope you like living with your aches and pains.

Now, having said that I don't like either's health care plan, first off socialized "universal" health care is a disaster just like socialism in general. (which has FAILED every time it's been tried) McCain's plan doesn't make much sense either. Real reform will have to come from tort reform to protect medicine from frivolous lawsuits and ridiculous civil payouts. Government needs to step out of (state and federal) regulating what you must have in your insurance so people can choose what coverage they want. It irks me I have to have alcoholic and drug abuse rehab coverage when I don't drink or even smoke a cigarette. Giving the power of choice back to the consumer will go a long way to help make healthcare affordable. Then boot the invaders so they don't drive up healthcare costs and we'll be even farther along.

Posted by: Norm | September 17, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

If you folks don't believe that our government can solve the problems we have with health care, why do you even care who we vote for for president?

Posted by: J Lauber | September 17, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

A lot of folks who are against universal coverage resort to labeling it socialized medicine. They then go on to cite ineficiencies and inequities in other countries. It seems that all of these people believe that we, as Americans, are really not smart enough to design an efficient system. You people make me SICK!

Posted by: J Lauber | September 17, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Single payer health insurance for all is the only way to sufficiently lower medical costs across the board. But Obama knows that he could never get it. The insurance, pharmaceutical and other profit-making powers-that-be would never allow it. And our citizenry do not know how to stand up to them in unison. The nightmare that is our health insurance non-system drives small businesses under; makes businesses non-competitive in world trade; escallates health care costs for lack of adequate preventive care coverage; causes job losses or prevents the hiring of disabled and older workers; forces bankruptcies on nearly half of those filing each year; directly causes the deaths of at least 18 thousand Americans each year who never got the care; doubtless, adds many more deaths of those who finally get health care far too late. Americans lose in so many ways, not least of which is the stress and anxiety. Senator Obama spoke of watching his mother, dying of cancer, in her bed with a telephone talking to health insurance reps. Most Americans are proud of our generosity and caring. This is what Americans are supposed to be about. So how did we get to this place where the greed of a mega-wealthy few dictates all this suffering and harm?

Posted by: Pat Williams | September 17, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

In recent weeks, John McCain and the Republican Party have blatantly and without any shame adopted the Democratic campaign theme of “change”. It should be evident to an objective observer that Bush 43 and now McCain and Pailin are mere puppets to the true Republican national party leaders who control their strings. Cheney is one of the few of that inner cabal that have been calling the shots since the Nixon administration. They are in fact a continuation of the Nixon and Ford presidencies with only a disruption during the Carter and Clinton years. Bush 41( Head of the RNC during Nixon, former head of the CIA,VP to Reagan, and president is probably the real leader of this political Cosa Nostra if not a equal partner of this power sharing musical chairs game. His right and left hands have been Dick Cheney(former Sec.of Defense of Bush 41, former White House Chief of staff for Ford) and the other is Donald Rumsfeld(former Sec. of Defense for Ford and Bush 43,former special envoy to the Middle East during Reagan). Another member of this group, more likely a captain if not a full blown boss himself is James Baker (former C.O.S of Reagan, former Under Sec. of Commerce for Ford, former C.O.S and Sec of State for Bush 41, former Sec. of Treasury for Reagan, former chief legal advisor to Bush 43). Another captain or free lance enforcer is Karl Rove a college drop out and campaign manager for both Bush 41 and 43, also for Phil Gram who is McCain’s economic advisor.
Lets look at McCain’s staff of change.
On July 2, 2008, Steve Schmidt was given "full operational control" of McCain's campaign. Steve Schmidt prior to this was a top aide to Dick Cheney and a protégé to Karl Rove. Another advisor is Charles R. Black worked for Ronald Reagan's two Presidential campaigns in 1976 and 1980 and he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 re-election campaign of George H.W. Bush. Another advisor is Randy Scheunemann. He was project director for the Project for the New American Century. A neo-conservative think tank founded by non other than Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Bill Kristol and others in 1996. Other signatories to this group reads like a who’s who of the last 8 years of the republican administration.
These people have never cared about small town america or “values” All they care about is war profiteering. Many of the signatories have never served in the military. Cheney and Rove both dodged the draft. Look at the statement of principles by the PNAC. Rumsfeld was a good friend of Saddam Huessin in the 80’s Cheney didn’t want Nelson Mandela free. These are the real puppet masters, they throw out the talking points about the left of being elitist and not caring about middle america and these same guys other than Rove have advanced degrees and are worth no less than 10 million dollars. People who support them need to extricate their heads out of Limbaugh and Hannity’s asses and see what is really happening to them. McCain is not his own man he confuses stories of his real life with a book he read “The Gulag Archipelago", in which a fellow prisoner - not a guard - silently drew a cross in the dirt with a stick.” An ironic twist to all this is Eliot A. Cohen, a signatory to the PNAC "Statement of Principles", responded in The Washington Post: "There is no evidence that generals as a class make wiser national security policymakers than civilians. George C. Marshall, our greatest soldier statesman after George Washington, opposed shipping arms to Britain in 1940. His boss, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with nary a day in uniform, thought otherwise. Whose judgment looks better?"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/johnmccain/2581086/John-McCain-accused-of-plagiarising-Wikipedia-for-speeches.html. Even if you don’t like Obama there is no-way a sane person can want this continued blatant fleecing of our Nation.
Thes are all verifiable facts and can be found just with a google searches.
Other than the ultra affluent, how can anyone support the Republican Party? When will small town America realize that they are being duped into supporting the ultra-affluent agenda? The talking points of the right are so hypocritical that it becomes laughable. The red meat of the right is the so called Main stream Media as if Limbaugh, Hannity, et al. are not part of it. They demean celebrity status, however they tout one of their greatest presidents(Reagan) was an actor. They say they are the party of patriotism, yet many of the upper echelon of the party have never served, i.e. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Baker, Reagan. They say that they care about "Main Street" USA but only bail out the Whales of Wall Street. Yet small town America eat this tripe every year. They don't care about religion unless it can be used to stir up the base, nor science or technology unless there is a buck to be made. Small town America takes pride on its freedom but yet don't realize that over time we are becoming less free, ie wire tapping and other forms of domestic surveillance. They demean people of intelligence because they know many people of small town America don't have degrees and use it at a fake issue and call people who spent time in academia as elitist when many on the right serve on university boards and have part-time professorships. They say they are against affirmitive action but yet celebrate mediocrity, Bush43 and McCain graduating at the bottom of their classes. Who both came from already well established families and had all the opportunities and connections to excel. Why does small town America believes this is the party for them? Christian conservatives seem to the be the first ones who want to go to war and bomb someone before any diplomacy is tried. Why can't small town America and Christian conservatives realize they are being used as pawns just as much the Islamic fundamentalist are. Islamic fundamentalist come from small town Middle East and given the same kind of talking points as the evangelicals. They want prayer in school, no choice available to women, and believe to the core that their ideas about worship and country are the best. Wake up small town America you are being duped.
Talking about who is more patriotic, symbols, lipstick and wearing pins are nothing more than distractions to the real issue of how a few select group of people have held power almost continuously for over 30 years. Yes the left has their own political power groups but none have been so effective at pushing forward an agenda that is fundamentally bad for the U.S. and in a larger view the entire world. I stress again the now defunct PNAC and the AIPAC have been slowly pushing us closer to another World War. Bush41 and et al have been doing this and no one calls them on it. Every Republican administration has basically the same people recycled since Nixon. Just do a little research and you will see that these people are just pushing this agenda of some kind of Pax Americana and not taking into account that maybe other nations of the world might not like that and if not bomb them.
Many people who support the Republican party, really need to read "1984" by George Orwell and see how we as nation have been inching closer to that type of society. People think this story is about a communist society, but it is more about how a society is kept in a constant state of fear in order for the ruling class to stay in control. Doublespeak, patriotism to the point of frenzy, censorship, erosion of civil liberties (not respecting the Constitution) is happening right in front of us. The consolidation of government (the executive branch has never been more powerful than ever, gridlocked legislature with only two parties for representation, a judiciary that just kowtows to the executive branch). No real independent journalism. Cameras placed on every street corner. This may sound like delusional conspiracy stuff, but I implore people to research for themselves to really see what is happening to them. People think this could never happen here in the U.S. but it is already happening, slowly, incrementally all under the guise of "keeping America safe"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

McCain to currently employer-group-plan-insured:
"Don't get sick! Oh, and don't get hurt! Seriously. I mean it."

Posted by: zukermand | September 17, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Bill Mac Bean: I completely agree with as so many other Americans will. However, how do we get there when we can't even get an inch in the right direction? I think change in this Country happens very slowly and nothing can rush it. That is very unfortunate, but sadly true. Insurance companies have had us drinking the Koolaide for a very long time and we continue to sip away.

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 17, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous: thank you pointed out the obvious. Strange days does in fact recommend a hookah ;-)

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 17, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Both mcsame's and Obama's "health care" plans SUCK. The ONLY way out of the dominance of the drug and insurance industries over our lives is a government administered, single payer universal health care plan like the one in France, for instance. The corporate crooks and their stooges in Washington have had it their way for far too long.

Posted by: Bill Mac Bean | September 17, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Last year I was at the doctor with my daughter and grandson. I overheard a mother advise the receptionist of an insurance change for her child. She stated the child's lifetime benefit had been exhausted, and now the child was the recipient of Medicaid. The child she referred to was less than a year old! His lifetime benefit exhausted over a million dollars of coverage. What most people don't understand is this child is now uninsurable for life!

Posted by: Valeries2cents | September 17, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Expansion of schip funding to 300% of poverty level would do roughly the same thing as a tax credit for most families without insurance.The schip program is already in place so administration requires no start up. McCain stood with Bush in his veto of this expansion. I doubt that he is really willing to reach across the aisle as he claims. Lets not involve the IRS in this other than using tax forms to verify eligibility.

Posted by: J Lauber | September 17, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Jessica: thanks for the follow. So, that would be a big break for some working people, but how would unemployed people benefit from this? Also, the fact still remains that people who don't have health insurance will still have to go out and pay for it. If you have a pre-existing condition, then you still can't afford health insurance and the tax credit is not going to buy you anything that resembles health insurance. Perhaps an indemnity plan with very high out of pocket expenses.

Seems like this will help those of us who have health insurance pay a little less, but will not help those who are out there hanging on a limb that's about to break. It's not even a bandaide.

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 17, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can tell, McCain wants to raise my taxes in order to get rid of my excellent company-provided health care plan.

I don't know what his motive is, but he's certainly not interested in improving my life. And I'll bet there are millions more in my situation.

Has McCain's economic team actually "crunched" the numbers? If they have, it's pretty scary. If they haven't, it's just as scary.

McCain would be better off to say he has NO health plan. No change would be better than his proposal.

Posted by: marik7 | September 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Strange Days : "Take a deep pull from the hookah, then imagine a world of roses and flowers where Sara Palin flies through the air with an angel's wings, John McCain is a pro-regulation reformer, and Bush is actually Jesus. And then you die."

I've never smoked a hookah, do you recommend it? You haven't answered my question, but you are funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Over time, they would have likely come out way ahead."

And for the ones that don't there's always a few non-collapsed public bridges to live under while you strain Sterno with a cheese cloth. I suppose its socialism to have government funding to at least hand out some strainers.

Posted by: Stragne Days | September 17, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

For anyone that does not understand the difference between a tax CREDIT and a tax deduction here is some information.

A tax DEDUCTION reduces your taxible income. So the deduction is subject to your tax bracket. If you are in a 25% bracket, a $5000 deduction amounts to $1250 taken off your tax bill. (tax actually paid= (taxible income-5000)*tax bracket)

A tax CREDIT reduces your tax bill, as it is deducted once total tax is calculated. So the credit is not subject to a tax bracket calculation so you recieve the full benefit of the credit. For the same person that was in a 25% tax bracket, a $5000 reduction of the tax bill would be the equivalent to a $20000 tax deduction! (tax actually paid= (taxible income * tax bracket)- 5000)

A tax credit is always better. I am unsure whether this credit would be refundable, meaning if you have zero tax owed the $5000 would be fully refunded.

Currently, for the self employeed, insurance premiums are a 100% DEDUCTION but subject to your tax bracket. ($10000 paid in premiums reduced tax bill by $2500 if 25% bracket, 50% less savings than McCain's $5000 credit!)

For all others, insurance premiums are reduced by 7.5% of taxible income and then the excess is dedctible and subject to tax bracket. For a taxible income of $60000, $4500 reduction in insurance premiums of $10000 and then the remaining $5500 is reduced by the tax bracket of 25% to reduce the tax bill by only $1375! McCains tax credit creats almost 75% more tax savings than the current system.

This credit would be a HUGE savings!

Posted by: Jessica | September 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"McCain supported Bush's plan to invest the Social Security funds in the stock market. The dems stopped it! Imagine what would have happened if those fools had their way??"

Over time, they would have likely come out way ahead.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Tax credit: Does that mean that my benefits will be taxed, but I will get a deduction of 5K on my tax bill at the end of the year? Or, does the tax credit mean, that if I spend it, I can write it off? If it's the former, then that means I have to have it to spend it. So, all those people out there who don't have 5K to spend on health care won't benefit from this tax credit. Please advise."

Take a deep pull from the hookah, then imagine a world of roses and flowers where Sara Palin flies through the air with an angel's wings, John McCain is a pro-regulation reformer, and Bush is actually Jesus. And then you die.

Posted by: Strange Days | September 17, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"If you are so adamant about clinging to capitalism in all it's glory, then shouldn't we let the market sort of the outcomes of these failed markets and let the pieces fall where they may? Why should we bail corporations and not help individual Americans? "

In theory we should not, though I don't think pure capitalism is what anyone really wants. You need regulations, you need safety nets, you need exceptions where it makes sense. Similarly, pure socialism would not be palatable either to most.

As for the bailout, also remember that this is not a gift, it is a loan/investment where they now have control of 80% of the company and the board of directors.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Like privatized social security, this is just another way to take advantage of the ill informed masses..."

McCain supported Bush's plan to invest the Social Security funds in the stock market. The dems stopped it! Imagine what would have happened if those fools had their way??

Posted by: Valeries2cents | September 17, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Tax credit: Does that mean that my benefits will be taxed, but I will get a deduction of 5K on my tax bill at the end of the year? Or, does the tax credit mean, that if I spend it, I can write it off? If it's the former, then that means I have to have it to spend it. So, all those people out there who don't have 5K to spend on health care won't benefit from this tax credit. Please advise.

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 17, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

You left off the end of that article:

"Forester is the CEO of EL Rothschild, a holding company with businesses around the world. She is married to international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Forester is a member of the DNC’s Democrats Abroad chapter and splits her time living in London and New York."

Oops...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I am very lucky. I have great health care benefits and I work for an employer who can afford it and believes it's a good idea for our welfare to provide it. I share the expense with my employer and there is a cut off point in which people who make over a certain amount pay more. I've never heard of anyone complaining it and I'm grateful for that.

However, if this article is correct, McCain's plan would tax my benefits. And, doing this would allow the Goverment to give families a 5K tax incentive that won't pay for anything that resembles decent health care coverage. This doesn't make any sense and seems to make the problem worse, not better. The best way to make insurance available to all is to have an value added sales tax. It's progressive and removes the employer from picture. It should be administered by the Federal Government just as Medicare is and the benefits provided to Federal employees.

BUT, if we can't have that and clearly the Country is not ready for that, the approach that seems to make the most sense and help the most people is Obama's strategy.

To the people on this comment board who are tired of listening to us "lefties" complain and whine about what OUR Government should be doing with OUR tax dollars, look at what has happened over the last two days. Companies that have been allowed to act irresponsibly in the financial markets are getting bailed out by OUR tax dollars. Sounds like corporate welfare to me. If you are so adamant about clinging to capitalism in all it's glory, then shouldn't we let the market sort of the outcomes of these failed markets and let the pieces fall where they may? Why should we bail corporations and not help individual Americans?

Posted by: PleaseChange | September 17, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Keep in mind that McCain's plan is not intended to decrease the number of non-insured; rather, it is specifically designed to force as many Americans as possible into the open insurance market, where they can sink or swim as they please."


Like privatized social security, this is just another way to take advantage of the ill informed masses...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"where they can sink or swim as they please. "

or sink

Posted by: Tom | September 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind that McCain's plan is not intended to decrease the number of non-insured; rather, it is specifically designed to force as many Americans as possible into the open insurance market, where they can sink or swim as they please.

Posted by: Thomas Beck | September 17, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

September 16, 2008
Prominent Clinton backer and DNC member to endorse McCain
Posted: 10:07 PM ET

From CNN Political Editor Mark Preston, Extra


A prominent backer of Hillary Clinton is endorsing McCain.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, will endorse John McCain for president on Wednesday, her spokesman tells CNN.

The announcement will take place at a news conference on Capitol Hill, just blocks away from the DNC headquarters. Forester will “campaign and help him through the election,” the spokesman said of her plans to help the Republican presidential nominee.

Forester was a major donor for Clinton earning her the title as a Hillraiser for helping to raise at least $100,000 for the New York Democratic senator’s failed presidential bid.

In an interview with CNN this summer, Forester did not hide her distaste for eventual Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

“This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don't like him,” she said of Obama in an interview with CNN’s Joe Johns. “I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”

Posted by: Scott | September 17, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't see how McCain's plan will work.
A $2500 tax credit means you get about $600 back for the year. Currently, insurance plans on the market cost about $300/month or $3600/year. Do those $600 really make a difference?"

"The annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four averaged nearly $12,100."

-source National Coalition on Health Care

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

And would either candidate assure those on Social Security and Railroad Retirement that their annual COLA increase would reflect a REAL increase in the cost of daily life by including food and energy, which are currently not included in the politically contrived "core" increase?

Posted by: Valjean1 | September 17, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Valeries, it's unfortunate but happens all the time. I had to leave the industry because I got tired of lying to people. Agents will sell you a worthless policy all the while leading you to believe that everything is covered. $5000 deductibles! I mean come on, who can pay a 5000 deductible!

Posted by: Perry | September 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to read people's arguments because most of you miss the real issue: it does not matter how MUCH it costs, if you have ANY pre-existing conditions (depression, a bad knee, ect) you will not get coverage or they will be "ridered" meaning not covered!

Posted by: Perry | September 17, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

One more thing... a friend had an accident recently that left him off work for 7 months. FMLA ran out in 3 months, COBRA was $1220 a month, and with no income was impossible to pay. The spouse could not get the insurance due to the employers open enrollment period limitations, and preexisting condition clauses.

I pray that none of you fools have this happen to you! Or maybe that is what you need!

Posted by: Valeries2cents | September 17, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Single-payer is the most cost-effective and equitable way to get comprehensive health care delivered to all Americans (regardless of legal status - policing that aspect just adds cost for very little benefit - illegals will be paying into the system just like everyone else). Obama is well-intentioned, but his plan simply increases the safety net that effectively keeps the private insurers in business. There is absolutely no need for private insurance, as many posters have pointed out. There is actually less "choice" with private insurance. In single-payer you get to choose your doctor, any doctor, and your doctor can practice medicine unencumbered by the insurers' penchant for denial of coverage. Educate yourself about the gold standard for single-payer at onecarenow.org

Posted by: Barto | September 17, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

McCain's plan is a nightmare. It would harken the end of employer-provided health care and would not be nearly enough to actually replace employer-provided health care. His health care plan is the same as his economic plan... it's called: "let them eat cake!"

Posted by: Sarah | September 17, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Just what do you know about Socialism? Are you against the police dept, fire dept, schools? It is the same thing! You really ought to educate yourself about these matters, and a good place to start would be the movie Sicko. It is excellent! All the lies about Canada, the UK, and other countries with National Healthcare are the propaganda from the republicans. Do some real research before you run oyour mouth!

Posted by: Valeries2cents | September 17, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone remember back when responsible adults actually knew how to take care of themselves?

The Leftists want all of us to be as helpless as those flooded-out folks from New Orleans, completely dependent on the nanny-state and incapable of doing anything for ourselves."


I suppose if we get cancer we should just tough it out.

"Helpless" is what we are quickly becoming, thanks to the outrageous prices of health care and insurance.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

In California a healthy 50 year old would be looking at 800-1200 monthly!

Posted by: Perry | September 17, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

As a former employee of UHC, the second largest medical insurer, I can tell you all that you do not want insurance privitized. I specialized in their individual line and compared to group policies, these things are virtually worthless. The insurance companies would love to have you all buy insurance individually. It allows them to charge more, deny more claims, deny coverage, ect.

Posted by: Perry | September 17, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

As a former employee of UHC, the second largest medical insurer, I can tell you all that you do not want insurance privitized. I specialized in their individual line and compared to group policies, these things are virtually worthless. The insurance companies would love to have you all buy insurance individually. It allows them to charge more, deny more claims, deny coverage, ect.

Posted by: Perry | September 17, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I would suggest that everyone watch Sicko, the documentary about the helthcare industry in this country. For all of you blaming the "Leftists" for being out to get you or whatever your problem is, you'd better wake up to the fact that we are all one illness away from bankruptcy. God forbid it happens to you. But if it does, then spout off about how we all need to learn to "take care of ourselves." Funny how you non-"leftists" hide behind judgments, but are too ignorant to hunt down facts to support them.

Posted by: Sick in PA | September 17, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Hospitals are only required to treat you in emergency rooms and get you out of the emergency. They are not required to treat you if you have no money outside of the emergency room. Try to get insurance if you have even a slight blood pressure problem. McCain will, according to some analysts, produce over 20 million more Americans with no health insurance if employers do not pay for their insurance. Apply to a health insurance company and they will seek all your previous medical records. Almost any condition precludes you from getting insurance and never for the condition for which you were already treated.

Posted by: Chris | September 17, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Anyone remember back when responsible adults actually knew how to take care of themselves?

The Leftists want all of us to be as helpless as those flooded-out folks from New Orleans, completely dependent on the nanny-state and incapable of doing anything for ourselves.

Posted by: Rufus | September 17, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

For those who say neither campaign has a plan or is addressing the issues that is incorrect. Please do simple web research for peer reviewed articles and even Obama's book on economic views. I am sure McCain has something out that describes his plan for the economy...if not that's an even greater issue. But just don't skip the election. We are a democracy when the majority of countries we can name desperately want to gain the right to vote that we have. Just do what you need to do to figure out what choice to make. Look at the independents even. Write in a name on the ballot...Just Vote!

Posted by: ... | September 17, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

blogs are not good sources. Emergency Room is not Health care because it doesn't treat chronic diseases such as asthma. Insurance companies don't like covering sick people. Obama requires them to and allows (not force) adults to sign up for the government plan which is overall cheaper. This makes the market price of most insurance companies fall to match that of the governments coverage. Obama plan is two fold economical and pro-choice.

Posted by: MM | September 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Blogs are not good sources. Emergency Room is not Health care because it doesn't treat chronic diseases such as asthma. Insurance companies don't like covering sick people. Obama requires them to and allows (not force) adults to sign up for the government plan which is overall cheaper. This makes the market price of most insurance companies fall to match that of the governments coverage. Obama plan is two fold economical and pro-choice.

Posted by: MM | September 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I may be mistaken but I did not see that the typical healthcare for a family comes to $12500 and $4500 for singles. So much for McCain's tax credits. The won't even cover half. No mention about those that are already in the pre-existing status and how healthcare costs will be lowered.

Basically not very much.

Barrack's plan will most likely produce so much revenue that it scares Republicans. I say Republicans because there are no conservatives.

Most employers under Obama's plan would opt to contribute to the general fund because it would be cheaper for them.

6% payroll taxes. 1.6 trillion over ten years. More that Obama said when he ran the numbers. Put revenues from taxes on corporations that use our infrasture and juducial systems then outsource but can't wait for their tax cuts.

The most unpatriotic thing that has happened is the outsourcing of American jobs and waiting for Americans to pay for it.

Posted by: CONRRUPTION NEVER STOPS | September 17, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

TheConservative: taxes are NOT socialism. You don't even know what socialism is.

If--according to you--this is just about efficiency, then why isn't the health care system getting more efficient every day in its current form?

It is *Republicans* who pretend we can get something for nothing. They cut taxes, even while waging indefinite wars. Under their "something for nothing philosophy," they claim that the free market will fix everything, and then when that leads to massive market corrections, the American taxpayer ends up footing the bill to bail out multiple companies. Meanwhile, the deficit has ballooned to $10 trillion dollars. McCain promises more tax cuts, details no spending cuts, and has no plans to address the deficit that his party has created. They know that tax cuts make them sound great to everyone, and they leave the mess for the next generation. You know, like Palin leaving her town that once ran on a surplus with $20 million in long term debt. I'm sick of big government, deficit and spend, "free market is great until things go wrong" Republicans.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse


Its sad the economy is in such bad shape that health care has been pushed to the bottom of my worries. More Info came out about Palins Affair this morning http://www.theveep.com

Palins Trooper gate is also looking worse this morning. http://www.hotpres.com

They need to come out with ads about the economy neither of these campaigns have been focused on the issues lately. I have decided to skip 08 http://www.skip08.com

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

theconservative why do you keep posting the same nonsensical quote. Obams plan is not socialistic. It does not change anything related to the health care system, it just helps people pay for insurance.


It costs the same as McCains plan and actually does something. With the money we are spending in Iraq, or to bail out businesses, we could pay for it and then some and it would probably do a lot more good.

Posted by: Kevin | September 17, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I wish I had the insurance offered through your wife's company. I pay much more, and have a fairly high deductible. I notice that you don't mention deductibles in your analysis.

In addition, you put out the typical Republican belief that all industries are essentially the same and, therefore, all will compete for the "best" employees by offering the "best" total package, including benefits. But, that should already be happening right now. McCain's plan won't make that "more" true. So why is it that so many people have trouble getting affordable health insurance today?

Your analysis seems like this: "I get reasonably priced healthcare, so why doesn't everyone else?"

For one, many companies cut and are continuing to cut insurance benefits. If you as an employee don't like that, you have to go out and find another job. With unemployment at 6%, that isn't easy for everyone--and not just because they aren't the "best" employees. Some industries don't need to compete for workers right now. Workers are in over supply. I imagine that you will say, "Well, this will all level out, and eventually those industries will have a lack of worker supply, and then they will need to entice workers just like other industries do." But that is not likely to be the case in the manufacturing sector. It also does not take into account the number of jobs out there that simply provide no insurance coverage whatsoever.

If you and your wife work in industries that give health care benefits to families for $250 a month with low deductibles, no wonder why you don't really see a problem here. But the reason why so many Americans do see a problem is because they are not in the same situation that you are in.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Seems most of you have fallen for the false socialist promise of free or sharply discounted health care.
"Obamas plan is cheaper for most americans"
Truth be told, what ever you save in premium payments will be added to the government tab and to your tax burden.
Don't be fooled by socialist claims.
The issue really shouldn't be a transfer of who pays the tab, but what can be done through productivity and efficiency measures within the health care system itself.
Campains that run on issues promising something for nothing are either disingenuous or touting some type of wealth transfer program.

Posted by: theconservative | September 17, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Universal Health Care is a great goal."
No, it isn't.
Why should pregnant women, sick babies have to wait in line behind drug users, chain smokers and obese people?

And so much medical innovations and advances have come from the US for the past 50 years, we don't want them packing up and leave for another country.

Posted by: pete | September 17, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

[It's Socialism! We'll have long lines like they do in Canada!]

First of all, it's NOT Socialism. That's just silliness. Right wing pundits throw terms around like "Socialism!" because they know that a lot of their base don't have the understanding to know any better. It's NOT Socialism, any more than the Government bailing out Bear Sterns is Socialism.

Second of all, Obama's plan is NOT Canada's plan. It's unfortunate if Canadians have to wait in line, even assuming that's true, but what does that have to do with Obama's plan? Answer: Nothing

Posted by: viwe from the couch | September 17, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

McCain should be embarressed by his health care plan.
1. My employer pays about $13,000 a year for my family health care plan.

2. If he gives me a $5,000 credit, he's telling me I'm going to get taxed on the remaining $8,000.

3. That works out to around $2,000/year in income taxes.

Senator McCain has no clue that try as I did, I saved 0$ last year beyond the 3% I had to reduce my 401K contribution to from the 6% it used to be.

Senator McCain, I don't have the money! Not all of us married an heiress and not all of us can wear $520 Ferragamo loafers and have 9 houses. Holy out of touch!!!!!

Posted by: Victor Shaw | September 17, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Boer wrote:
"Having no insurance is NOT the same as having no health care. Hospitals are required to treat anyone regardless of insurance...."

But don't you understand that this is exactly why hospitals end up charging so much for services? They inflate charges for their services in order to help recoup the money they spend on the uninsureds' ER visits. (This is why hospitals charge $5 for aspirin, as another poster pointed out.) This is also why getting an MRI at a private location is so much cheaper than at a hospital. Private MRI facilities don't have to treat any and all comers.

In addition, the ER is not a good way to treat the uninsured. This has put a huge strain on ERs, and ERs are not good facilities for addressing people who have a case of the flu but don't have the insurance to see a doctor. But many uninsured people, when faced with illness and injuries that don't actually require ER-level care, end up at the ER. This is expensive and inefficient.

You also assert that uninsured statistics should not include those who "choose" not to have health care. Why do you think people choose not to be insured? Could it be that health insurance is so expensive? And your comments about university students make sense if you're talking about them having the flu, but if they need surgery, that can't be handled at the local student health center. They usually end up at a public hospital, and if they are uninsured, they are in the same boat as anyone else.

Finally, comparing health insurance to broadband internet is ludicrous. The whole point of "insurance" is to "insure" folks against future unforeseeable incidents. When it comes to cable television, I know what I want and can afford, and it is easy to change the plan at any time. Not so with insurance. You don't want to be told you have a chronic illness and find out that you have nuts and bolts insurance that involves a good deal of out of pocket expenses.

Neither Obama's nor McCain's plans will fix all of these issues, but your "analysis" of the health care situation seems to be based on the idea that it is just like any other industry. And it's not. It's not even like other insurance industries.

Posted by: health care | September 17, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

McCains tax plan like everything McCain mostly benefits those who can afford it already. The poor and disabled will not benefit from McCains plan, only those with sufficient income benefit.

Posted by: Jeff | September 17, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Under McCain, he is encouraging my employer not to cover me. I will likely have to buy insurance on my own and if it does stay under my employer, I will be taxed. Health care is very expensive and the tax won't do much at all to cover me. Especially considering my employer gets a bulk discount and I will not be able to obtain this discount on my own."

It is up for debate if he is encouraging your employer not to cover you. Companies compete for talent and part of that competition is, and always will be, benefits.

Let me give you solid example. If we were insured through my wifes company (family) we'd pay about $250 a month in premiums, or $3K per year. If we opt out, they pay us $50 per month, or $600 per year. My company pays the same, $600 per year to opt out.

Under the McCain plan that gives me $5K + $3K + $1200 to put against a health plan. YOu can find a LOT of GOOD health plans for that price or less.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Excessive governmental spending on a program that helps very few people. Why are conservatives supporting McCain?

Posted by: Jake | September 17, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Of course the sad thing comes when you read the last few paragraphs of the article. These guys can say what they want, they have no chance of getting either proposal through congress.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Under McCain, he is encouraging my employer not to cover me. I will likely have to buy insurance on my own and if it does stay under my employer, I will be taxed. Health care is very expensive and the tax won't do much at all to cover me. Especially considering my employer gets a bulk discount and I will not be able to obtain this discount on my own.

More importantly, if I develop a major illness, I will likely loose my house and be forced to declare bankrupcy as if I loose my job I am not covered and buying insurance with a pre-existing condition is outrageously expensive.

Interesting read:
http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Retirement/2008/20080828-HealthCareCosts.htm

Posted by: Kevin | September 17, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"I do not want McCain to tax my health insurance."

The credit he is giving back is higher than any tax will be on you benefits. YOu get a net gain even if you do nothing.

But guess what, now you have $5K to play with on top of the monthly contributions you make so if you are unhappy with the company choices of insurance, you can go elsewhere with probably $7-8K and avoid the tax.

Plus, as folks start to opt out, expect competition right around that $5-7K sweetspot. You will be able to get more for your money than you can get now.

This aspect of the McCain plan is a no-brainer really. You WILL come out ahead. There are other big issues with both plans, but this is not one of them.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Seems most of you have fallen for the false socialist promise of free or sharply discounted health care.
"Obamas plan is cheaper for most americans"
Truth be told, what ever you save in premium payments will be added to the government tab and to your tax burden.
Don't be fooled by socialist claims.

Posted by: theconservative | September 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Please review the definition of Socialism. It is the government owning the means of production in multiple industries.

Obama is NOT proposing government-run healthcare, regardless of what the McCain campaign wants you to think.

Obama's plan does NOT institute single-payer healthcare. It is not "socialized medicine."

Americans will still buy health insurance from private plans, as they do now, and those who cannot afford insurance will be eligible for a kind of Medicare designed for people under 65. There is not equivalency between his plan and, for example, Canada's.

http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the_health_care_blog/2008/03/a-detailed-anal.html

Posted by: plans | September 17, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"So, both expect to spend a lot, but I will pay more under McCain than I am now. hmm let me think about that..."

Please explain how you will pay more. I'm curious.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Universal Health Care is a great goal. Those that worry about possible inefficiency are sound in their concern, but should focus their efforts towards just that...making sure it can be efficient. We shouldn't stop reaching for the goal where affordable health care is available for everyone.
I'm glad Obama is up for that challenge.

Posted by: Chris Michaels | September 17, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is more socialistic than Obama or the Dems. Look at AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stears. Only the GOP's policy is to privatize profits and socialize loses.
Therefore we pay for incompetence but get nothing in return.


From Merriam-Webster
Socialism:
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

Posted by: Kevin | September 17, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Socialized health care actually works very well for most people. I lived with it (in the UK) and know a lot of Europeans that like it too.

Posted by: Lucy | September 17, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I do not want McCain to tax my health insurance.

Posted by: Lucy | September 17, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

So, both expect to spend a lot, but I will pay more under McCain than I am now. hmm let me think about that...

Posted by: Kevin | September 17, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

With Obama, America's advanced health care system would become stagnated and inefficient.

Obama is a union's stool.

Posted by: pete | September 17, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"why are people so scared of universal healthcare?...obama isn't a socialist"

Yeah, Obama IS a socialist. Take that to be good or bad, but he is. Why are people scared of universal healtcare? Mabye not scared, but wary. I just read that Canada is 24th out of 28 industrialized nations in doctors per person. I read the that wait for non-critical surgeries in Canada and Britain can be over a year. I talked to a friend in Canada and his dad needed an MRI but could not get one for 9 months.

Contrast that to near immediate response you get with privatized medicine, the access to doctors, etc.

Healthcare for all is certainly a GOOD thing, but how you do it needs to meld nicley with high level response and access in the privatized sector.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

As an individual - slightly elevated blood pressure, otherwise healthy 58 years old - my premium is $500 per month for a basic plan. You want really good, inexpensive insurance? Be young and healthy. No magic bullets here, but let's agree we must change what we have. There are children who don't get care because their families don't have coverage and they wait until the child is really sick because the emergency room is expensive. Also it should be about 'healthcare' and not 'sickness care.' The point is to have people helped to be well so that our total costs of medical care go down. Early detection of life-threatening diseases and chronic illness aren't going to happen in the emergency room.

Posted by: lisaintexas | September 17, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Under McCain, what happens to things like Flexible spending accounts? According to this, he seems to think that anything not taxed is a subsidy and wants it taxed. Looks to me like he is gambling with my health care and assumes that costs will go down if he starts taxing it??? This looks like a ploy to shift all the cost onto the individual and away from the company, if that happens don't we all pay more as there would be no collective buying power??
I need a lot more info on both plans, this is nuts..
Sad, Richest nation in the world and we can’t cover our own people.

Posted by: What?? | September 17, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Re:
Profit-driven market-based health care means minimal healthcare (minimize costs & risks) at maximal prices (maximum profits).

Posted by: ZLN | September 17, 2008 9:25 AM

Total BS.

Posted by: pete | September 17, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"You may pay $5000/family if in your 20's and healthy; but let's see what your premium will be in your 40's or if you end up with an illness and you really need healthcare."

Nope, two kids, parents nearing 50, you can find plenty of policies by solid insurers for $5K per year.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

""the average individual policy starts at about $8,000-12,000 (depending on where you live) and goes up depending on the amount of coverage."

See this I don't buy at all."

You are 100% correct not buying it at all. I did a quick health insurance quote request online, family of 4 and of the top 10 "best sellers" that came back, 3 were under $5K per year.

Most companies I know of require the employee to pay at least a few hundred a month, lets say about $2K per year to be conservative. Redirect that $2K plus the $5K credit and for the same cash outlay, you get 7 of the top 10 "best sellers."

Now, there may be other problems with the McCain plan (and the Obama plan) but affordability under the McCain plan in simply nonsense.

Posted by: Mark | September 17, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

To Jeremy,
You may pay $5000/family if in your 20's and healthy; but let's see what your premium will be in your 40's or if you end up with an illness and you really need healthcare.
Do you think your $5k/year insurance provider will keep you if you end up with a brain tumor? and at $5k/year?
This is not made up. They love to insure you if your are healthy, but not if you will be costing them.
The answer is to expand the pool. This is what insurance is supposed to be. You reduce the risk by making the insured pool as large as possible (even the whole country). Which means, the healthy will have to pay more for their healthcare, but they can then afford it when/if they get sick.

Posted by: Chuck | September 17, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

why are people so scared of universal healthcare?...obama's plan doesn't force anyone to have health care- but he is going to make it where anyone who wants it can have it...how is this a bad thing?...this isn't going to make anyone 'lazier' or more dependent on government...it's so ironic how republicans talk about smaller government, but then they come in and put red tape all over the place and as a result create a much wider gap between the rich and poor...obama isn't a socialist..as president he would resolve inefficienies and put in place common sense solutions...these insurance companies have put all sorts of conditions in place so that the most vulnerable people are the most victimized by the system...i understand how insurance companies work, but the bottom line is the way they operate in the health care industry is inhumane...we're better than that as americans...and the best part about obama's plan is your taxes won't go up unless you're in the top 5% of income earners...there needs to be reform...obama offers real solutions...mccain offers more of the same...please don't be stupid on november 4th...america will crumble at the feet of a third george bush term

Posted by: Monty | September 17, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Two points:

Who does Beor think is paying for the ER visits by uninsured persons? Medicare/Medicare, local departments of health, and the hospitals (by charging paying patients more). In other words, people -- taxpayers & paying patients & insurance companies are paying for it, and in the most inefficient way possible. These uninsured ER visits drive up the costs (taxes, fees, & premium) of everyone else.

If health insurance is left entirely to the free market, as McCain wants to, the only people who can afford insurance will be young, healthy people with no existing conditions & health risks. The best way insurance companies can make a profit is to insure only people who will not get sick. Profit-driven market-based health care means minimal healthcare (minimize costs & risks) at maximal prices (maximum profits).

Posted by: ZLN | September 17, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

No one is denied treatment in emergency situation.
This is an attempt by the unions to create a public health care system that will be parallel to the public school system and dominated by the unions. Obama is a union's stool.

Posted by: pete | September 17, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

to Jeremy:

How old are you? You and your family are rated for insurance based on age and health status, right?

Your argument that your cost is low, therefore everyone's is, isn't valid given how the US insurance business works.

Posted by: campergal | September 17, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This is yet another bunch of CRAP. I know people right now who are being DENIED insurance although they can PAY for it.

Nor does the government stepping in help the true problem which is outrageous fees for medical procedures. $12K for a night at a hospital? $5 dollars for a single asprin?? Get real people -this government Medicaid for the poor (which already exists so what's the big to-do) is only a bandaid and will not work.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

how come you dont see more of this stuff on the networks? could it be anheuser-busch is a huge advertiser? hmmmm.

Posted by: dave | September 17, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"the average individual policy starts at about $8,000-12,000 (depending on where you live) and goes up depending on the amount of coverage."

See this I don't buy at all.

My wife and I have "full" coverage as they say PLUS maternity insurance since she is pregnant and we pay $400/month total...for everything.

That's less than $5000/year for two adults, and once our son is born that rate will go down once we can drop the maternity coverage and move to a family plan to cover our son (we've already go the quote on this)...

Before we added the maternity coverage we paid about $325/month.

I'm also self employed so I don't get any insurance coverage from anyone else and my wife is currently not working.

I just opened the phone book, picked Blue Cross Blue Shield out and asked for a quote...are we in some sort of twilight zone of cheaper insurance? Doubtful.

Now I'm not saying $5000/year is cheap but compared to $12K it is.

But how much money could you save per month if you went with basic cable instead of the super premium package, lowered you cell phone minutes, went from broadband internet to dial up, eliminated the Netflix subscription, and then eat out half as much each month?

I imagine if people actually skimped on some of the luxuries they think they "must have" and focused on the necessities first the problem would not be near as bad.

It's not that I have a problem helping people out, the problem is once something like Universal Health care becomes a reality people will rarely make an attempt to improve themselves so they don't need government assistance and those that do foot the bill...forever.

Also of interest is whether or not the "uninsured" numbers we hear about include illegals in this country? Before I get bashed about that, I'm all for giving them coverage...as long as they pay into the tax system like everyone else.

The whole debate hinges on people believing there are two groups in this country.

The "haves" and "have nots"

But there are actually 3.

The "cants" the "cans" and the "will nots" and the vast majority of people are in the "will not" group.

Posted by: Jeremy | September 17, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Re:
This article, like many others, makes critical errors, as is evident in some of the responses.

1. Having no insurance is NOT the same as having no health care. Hospitals are required to treat anyone regardless of insurance. To see your own proof, just talk to an ER nurse, or sit in an ER for a few minutes any given day.

2. The statement about insurance companies charging more for people with illnesses is very misleading. 98% of people are in group policies, where the rate is set for the group. The companies are not allowed by law to discriminate based on health history. (If you get individual insurance, for example if you are self employed and cannot create even a group of 2 people, then the statement is true.

3. There are nowhere near 47 million uninsured. This number keeps getting repeated by the press even after study after study shows it to be untrue. Over 12 million of this number are illegal immigrants (while the medical needs of this group is an issue, they are not uninsured Americans). Approx 10 million more are 18-22 year olds in college that don't carry coverage because if they get sick they are treated in school, or they choose not to carry coverage.

Also, a few million self employed people who self insure with catastrophic care coverage are not counted as insured, even though these people choose this a practical way of 'insuring' themselves.

Universal health insurance would be an economic disaster. Think of the problems we have funding Medicare -- imagine expanding this to everyone. People need to SEE what it costs to get treated, this is why costs are so high; everyone things 'insurance' = 'free.'

As a self insured, self employed person, I can tell you that my health care costs are much lower since I have to make a decision on most basic treatment

Posted by: Beor | September 17, 2008 8:54 AM

I completely agree with you Beor,

This is an attempt by the unions to create a public health care system that will be parallel to the public school system and dominated by the unions.

Posted by: pete | September 17, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

In reality Mccain has no Health Care Plan his proposal is to Tax the Employees and Give companies more tax Breaks . Also his 6000 Tax credit per year for famlies will not help if you can't afford to Insure your Family with premiums up to 15,000.00 Per Family per year.

In other Words his Plan is more of the same as BUSH and is a GIMMICK !

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

This article, like many others, makes critical errors, as is evident in some of the responses.

1. Having no insurance is NOT the same as having no health care. Hospitals are required to treat anyone regardless of insurance. To see your own proof, just talk to an ER nurse, or sit in an ER for a few minutes any given day.

2. The statement about insurance companies charging more for people with illnesses is very misleading. 98% of people are in group policies, where the rate is set for the group. The companies are not allowed by law to discriminate based on health history. (If you get individual insurance, for example if you are self employed and cannot create even a group of 2 people, then the statement is true.

3. There are nowhere near 47 million uninsured. This number keeps getting repeated by the press even after study after study shows it to be untrue. Over 12 million of this number are illegal immigrants (while the medical needs of this group is an issue, they are not uninsured Americans). Approx 10 million more are 18-22 year olds in college that don't carry coverage because if they get sick they are treated in school, or they choose not to carry coverage.

Also, a few million self employed people who self insure with catastrophic care coverage are not counted as insured, even though these people choose this a practical way of 'insuring' themselves.

Universal health insurance would be an economic disaster. Think of the problems we have funding Medicare -- imagine expanding this to everyone. People need to SEE what it costs to get treated, this is why costs are so high; everyone things 'insurance' = 'free.'

As a self insured, self employed person, I can tell you that my health care costs are much lower since I have to make a decision on most basic treatment

Posted by: Beor | September 17, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Beor showed his ignorance when he wrote:
"2. The statement about insurance companies charging more for people with illnesses is very misleading. 98% of people are in group policies, where the rate is set for the group. The companies are not allowed by law to discriminate based on health history. (If you get individual insurance, for example if you are self employed and cannot create even a group of 2 people, then the statement is true"

Did you even read the article? The higher costs were cited as a problem if McCain gets his way and people have to drop out of the group plans of which they are currently a part. The fact that most people are in group plans now doesn't change that.

Instead of spewing out your GOP talking points, next time put some thought into what you're reading and writing.

Posted by: McCain is a panderer | September 17, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

This article, like many others, makes critical errors, as is evident in some of the responses.

1. Having no insurance is NOT the same as having no health care. Hospitals are required to treat anyone regardless of insurance. To see your own proof, just talk to an ER nurse, or sit in an ER for a few minutes any given day.

2. The statement about insurance companies charging more for people with illnesses is very misleading. 98% of people are in group policies, where the rate is set for the group. The companies are not allowed by law to discriminate based on health history. (If you get individual insurance, for example if you are self employed and cannot create even a group of 2 people, then the statement is true.

3. There are nowhere near 47 million uninsured. This number keeps getting repeated. Over 12 million of this number are illegal immigrants (while the medical needs of this group is an issue, they are not uninsured Americans). Approx 10 million more are 18-22 year olds in college that don't carry coverage because if they get sick they are treated in school, or they choose not to carry coverage.

Also, a few million self employed people who self insure with catastrophic care coverage are not counted as insured, even though these people choose this a practical way of 'insuring' themselves.

Universal health insurance would be an economic disaster. Think of the problems we have funding Medicare -- imagine expanding this to everyone. People need to SEE what it costs to get treated, this is why costs are so high; everyone things 'insurance' = 'free.'

As a self insured, self employed person, I can tell you that my health care costs are much lower since I have to make a decision on most basic treatment.

Posted by: Beor | September 17, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Could someone please explain to me how not taxing something creates a subsidy? I understand that potential tax income is forgone, but a subsidy would consist of a payment to the subsidized program, would it not? Sounds like a NEW tax to me!"

When you receive health insurance from an employer, it is effectively income. That means that technically the government is not taxing part of your income, which I guess some people have decided to call a subsidy.

In the end though, the terminology isn't the most important thing. The reality of it is that McCain will increase taxes (funny how he's constantly accusing Senator Obama of that when an independent tax center has found that Obama's tax plan will save more Americans more money than McCain's would). Not only will he increase taxes, but they will hit the poor and middle class the hardest (big surprise).

We have a health care crisis in this country, and McCain thinks the solution is to tax health insurance so that more people can't afford it. Unreal.

Posted by: McCain is a panderer | September 17, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"The problem lies with people abusing emergency rooms ...

We need to educate the public on selecting a primary care provider to seek treatment of chronic illnesses."

How about we fix the system and provide 24 hour clinics with nurse practitioners to see the sick so they don't have to go to emergency rooms? No one wants to go to emergency rooms. The uninsured wait until they have no choice but to go to the Doctor.

We have a shortage of doctors and health care providers in the U.S. (see World Heath Org. website and compare to Canada, England, Germany.) We need to reduce the cost of medical school and admit everyone who can do the work.

We need to end the exclusive club called doctors. We need to become more like Germany where they have too many doctors. Then only the most capable will be practicing medicine. Simple supply side economics!

Posted by: TinMan | September 17, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Currently, the value of a person's health care plan is not taxed, creating essentially a subsidy by the government for health care."

Could someone please explain to me how not taxing something creates a subsidy? I understand that potential tax income is forgone, but a subsidy would consist of a payment to the subsidized program, would it not? Sounds like a NEW tax to me!

Posted by: Lizzy | September 17, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting who McCain has chosen to guide his new found economic concern. We were whiners and the economy was strong up until the meltdown. His economic 'guru' is Phil Gramm (recently relegated to the backroom for calling us whiners)but very much still active in the campaign. Gramm was instrumental in reducing regulations on the banking industry (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act). Later, Senator Gramm added a 262-page amendment into the omnibus appropriations bill titled: Commodity Futures Modernization Act. This deregulated derivitives trading and was lobbied for by ENRON(remember THEM?) Mrs. Gramm actually was on the board of ENRON at one time. These bills have contributed to the current crisis in the financial industry, the mortgage crisis...etc. etc.
Then we have Carly Fiorina who happily out-sourced jobs and laid off workers while the head of HP and parked money in overseas accounts indefinitely defering taxation on $14.4 billion of foreign earnings, according to SEC filings, a move that helped lower its effective tax rate to 12 percent. She was fired with a large golden parachute.
We also have Martin Feldstein, proponent of trickle-down or voodoo economics and champion of privatizing Social Security accounts. He must be relieved that the corporation of whose board he is a member(AIG) is going to be bailed out (in spite of McCain's supposed reluctance to do so).

Posted by: GG | September 17, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Why is McCain ripping out one of the few nice things about the broken health-care system?

For some reason the 100% free-market doesn't seem to be working. There are too many middle-men invloved. Too many profiteers with their hands stretched out, praying and hoping that americans get even more sick and need even more costlier proceedures and medications.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

>Any human being can go into any U.S. hospital and be treated, regardless of coverage.

Try it. Do a search on L.A. Times about "patient dumping". They are dumped on the streets in the worse section of town, sometimes they have not even been clothed or ambulatory.

Only hospitals receiving a certain type of federal funds accepts uninsured. I live in the 5th largest city in the U.S. and feel lucky there is ONE. Even then the requirement is to STABILIZE only.

Try it with your next heart attack before you assume that. Children die of simple ailments like appendicitis because there is no hospital that will accept them if they don't have proof of insurance. (True story. The parents did have insurance and the 2 private hospitals were acquitted when they didn't realize it. It's gotten worse since then).

No, Virginia, there is no safety net.

>All you do by insuring the uninsured is make it more difficult for the already insured to see their doctor.

Goodness. I wouldn't want you to give up your elite status that you must feel every opportunity you can.

If you haven't noticed, a vast majority of U.S. doctors are foreign born and trained. At least for other 90% of people. There are plenty more where those came from or haven't you heard about the Republican work visa programs?

But don't worry, there will always be private doctors who are more interested in earning a 6 to 7 figure salary and will charge more than the average. Just like there is now for doctors, hospitals, clinics to choose not to treat the "average" Medicare patient by choosing to opt out of Medicare assignment and charge more than the usual 20% co-insurance amount.

You won't have month long waits, can listen to waterfalls in the waiting room, soft lighting, high design, spa specials and probably get treated to a massage as you wait too. They might even arrange a special limo-package just for you. Oh, and of course, that doctor will have a pronounceable last name, no accent and ghostly white skin.

So don't worry about the wait times for the rest of us. I wouldn't want to tell you that even with a diagnosis of skin cancer, I had to wait another 3 months to see a dermatologist under my CURRENT private health care plan. If I wanted to get in sooner, I was told I had to go to a neighboring state and self-pay.

Did anyone ever consider that the "Great Wall of Mexico" has potential to keep U.S. citizens from crossing the border to get lower cost dental and medical care?

There a full charter buses crossing several times daily. Just like I hear buses are crossing Canadian borders for prescriptions.

When it comes to medical care, the U.S. has become the "world's illegal immigrants". You can buy into the Mexican health insurance system for $1k. There are other ways to get covered in other countries - citizenship not required.

Posted by: Aikanae | September 17, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

What both of these debates fail to cover is that PRIVATE health insurance plans are equal to no insurance with a chronic condition. Over half of the medical debt was incurred while the patient was insured.
http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/Medicaid-Debt-and-Access-to-Health-Care-Report.pdf

And public health plans, such as Medicaid fared no better, largely because there are no checks and balances to make sure actual care (outcome) was received.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/114278328/PDFSTART

What might bring this issue home to more people, including those that are healthy and haven't discovered the hidden inadequacies of their health plan yet, might be that many major organizations such as American Cancer Society, and similar associations for Diabetes, Heart, Lung (and others) have stated they see little value in funding more research and development when most people don't have access to the care that's already known about.

So even with GREAT insurance and an upper income level, people will need to travel outside of the U.S. (Thailand, Bombay) to get the "BEST medical care" without most people having access to care.

The only plan that has delivered consistently, effectively and efficiently has been traditional Medicare in the U.S. And it still uses private doctors. Only the "administration" is "socialized" (streamlined).

Medicare HMO's are supplemented and even with that, anyone needing chronic care reverts back to traditional Medicare, at a higher personal cost to get it.

Choosing your own doctor in traditional Medicare is less "socialized" than HMO's in that regard.

Just reducing the subsidy from overpaying Medicare HMO's would result in enough money saved to cover everyone's health care in the U.S, equally.

The truth is there are only 5 or 6 national health care plans. That isn't socialism, that is "communism". Take a look at donations to BOTH major parties. The average person has no voice. The health plans are managing public policy.

From that perspective, bringing a little socialism back and reducing the role of "privatization" could revitalize and stimulate the economy.

As it is, the U.S. being managed by a handful of corporations has stalled progress not only in healthcare, but telecommunications, sciences and education. We have lost the edge.

Maybe it is time to restore more power to the individual. If you want to call it socialization for everyone to have access to quality of life - go ahead.

But I call what we have now way to close to communism when only 10% are making gross profits off of the other 90%, sorta like most third world countries.

Posted by: aikanae | September 17, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

To Simple Doctor:

Universal Health Care, or "socialized medicine, if you want to scare people unnecessarily, doesn't mean that people cannot buy and supplement their healthcare from the private market.

It simply means that everyone people get health care. Trust me, it is cheaper in the long run.

Posted by: Lusmu | September 17, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Any human being can go into any U.S. hospital and be treated, regardless of coverage. Hospitals are required by law to treat everyone. So no one "[has] to die" because they are not covered.

The problem lies with people abusing emergency rooms as their primary physician. This ties up resources and costs more than visiting a regular doctor.

We need to educate the public on selecting a primary care provider to seek treatment of chronic illnesses.

Oh, and by the way, both plans call for a raise in taxes. So you may have to base your vote on another issue.

Posted by: Medic | September 17, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Even if there were universal health care, there's not going to be enough health care resources to go around. There's a physician and nursing shortage which is very limited. All you do by insuring the uninsured is make it more difficult for the already insured to see their doctor. Not only that, but with socialized medicine, you won't even have the option to pay more to get your private hospital room, your brand name drugs, and your next day appointments if you wanted to. Roommates, generics, and 1 month waiting times for all!

Posted by: Simple Doctor | September 17, 2008 5:31 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that you people are arguing over the plans. We are talkig about lives. Why should anyone have to die because they do not have healthcare? Are you proud of that? Is that what it means to be an American, to let those who can only afford healthcare survive and let others die? Shame on you.

Posted by: K- | September 17, 2008 4:50 AM | Report abuse

As a republican physician, I have concluded that the Republicans would eventually bring us socialized medicine. How could this be? Because when the republicans who controlled congress and presidency had the chance to stand up to the health insurance lobby by passing the ability to let small businesses join in pools to buy health insurance, a stated goal of every republican presidential candidate since at least W's father, the republicans chose not to pass the bills that would allow small business to band together to buy health insurance. In other words, the longer the republicans block modest and moderate attempts to improve the health insurance markets, the more severe the solution will be. And the knowing few will know that it was the republicans, who never did what they said they would do (let small businesses band together and torte reform) when the republicans controlled congress and the presidency, who allowed things to get to the point where socialized medicine would become a reasonable solution. Of course republicans will whine about socialized medicine when it comes, but the republicans will be largely responsible for the socialized medicine that they hate so much because the republicans should have passed torte reform and small business health insurance pooling when they controlled congress and the presidency. The longer modest healthcare reform is put off, the more severe the solution will be.

Posted by: The Prognosticator | September 17, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

McCain has lived off the Government all his life, now this jerk wants to tax Health Care ? Bush must have sent his puppet a memo .... tax the poor and what's left of the middle class Johnny Boi ... it's a Republican tradition.

Posted by: SadAmerican | September 17, 2008 3:23 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for addressing such an important issue! McCain's policy = tax increase.

McCain's plan would also increase the number of nongroup health insurance. Most nongroup plans have more expensive premiums, worse coverage, higher out-of-pocket expenses. Basically a lot of people would end up having much worse coverage.

As to Scott's smear post, it's been debunked, yet people are continuing to post it all over the web. Lies get half way around the world while the truth is busy getting on its shoes right? Why bother with the truth when you can just smear.

Posted by: concerned about our health | September 17, 2008 2:57 AM | Report abuse

perhaps health insurance companies could be regulated.

And what if health insurance would become a
not for profit enterprise?

Or, perhaps, all health insurance would only cover hospitalization, and other health needs would be market driven...

seems like there isn't much dialogue or discussion -- or out of the box thinking
going on.

Posted by: alexashcom | September 17, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

What kind of barbaric nation is the US?

All Americans should have health care regardless of income.

Decicding who lives and dies when a nation has all the resources and more.

How evil is that?

What's wrong with you people?

Shame on you!

Posted by: jesus | September 17, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

to Scott
Re:Obama's Double-Dealing Diplomacy
That's quite a long post about Obama. Could you please inform the others on this board where you obtained this rather odd information???

Obama only visited Iraq..I didn't think as a candidate for President he would be in a position or have the "power"to make such "deals" as to postpone our troops from leaving Iraq.

Posted by: Jane | September 17, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Poster Sally,
Be careful when you say children are covered by state plans. It implies ubiquitous coverage, but it isn't and varies greatly state to state. Even if your child is uninsurable due to a preexisting condition, you may not be able to get coverage through the state depending on where you live.

Posted by: cardcat | September 17, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Poster named Honesty: although children are covered under state funded plans (which are essentially the same thing as Medicaid, except not matched by federal funds), they will not be covered once they age-out of the system. In addition, not all states have equal plans, and there are many children who do not have access to needed care. If you are pleased with how your children were covered, what is your problem with extending such a system to other children and to adults as well? Further, our current model of private insurance and medical underwriting creates far more bureaucracy and intrusion into your privacy - and concerns about social engineering (for the insurers' profits) - than a universal system would.

Tor: I only wish to correct your assumption on the cost of insurance in the individual insurance market. For those who can even qualify (i.e., if you are not considered a risk / do not have a preexisting condition), the average individual policy starts at about $8,000-12,000 (depending on where you live) and goes up depending on the amount of coverage.

Posted by: Sally | September 17, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

McCain's health plan is toxic from start to finish. It's key elements:

Raise taxes on workers who get healthcare on the job. For the typical person earning $50,000 a year, your taxes would go up to about $58,000.

Push people to give up health benefits and fend for themselves in the private market, where the cost of non-group coverage is higher and you get less. So people will pay more and get worse coverage.

Applaud while employers, stuck with the sicker, older workers, drop health benefits.

Deregulate state consumer protections -- such as the minimum standards many states have to require insurers to cover such frills as cancer screenings, maternity coverage, and diabetic care.

Hard to believe, but the McCain health plan is even worse than Bush

Posted by: gschwartz | September 17, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Palin couldn't get private insurance for her newborn. Her 5 month old has down syndrome, and in many state would be uninsurable on a private plan. Lucky for her and her son she has a group plan under the state and possibly soon the Feds.
They would be in a horrible mess if she didn't have a group plan. She would make to much money to qualify for a state childrens plan and all cost of his heath care would be out of pocket. It would finacially kill the average American.
I can't believe she is such a hypocrite to endorse McCain's plan that would leave her son out in the cold where she in anothers shoes.

Posted by: cardcat | September 17, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Why are people so jealous that the McCains have been successful financially? Their financial success was built on Cindy's father's pursuit of his American dream. Thus far, Cindy has been able to continue managing that business so that it has not yet failed (unlike many other businesses). Maybe that's why the McCains DO know something about how to build wealth & they do have an understanding of hard work & personal responsibility. When will Democrats teach their kids how to save money & make the right purchasing choices, instead of relying on government handouts? There's no need to buy a plasma TV when you're just paying rent, or especially when you're living off of Section 8.

Posted by: nic | September 17, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, "honesty", it's real nice that you've been successfully sucking at the teat of government healthcare- what about everyone else?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Why would America REWARD complete Republican failure ?

Piss-poor state-craft...

A bungled economy...

uhhhh... Yeah ! Great job ! How 'bout some more !

Some people are so tribal they would vote for a blow-up doll if you slapped a elephant badge on it.

Posted by: PulSamsara | September 17, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I have lived in five states: my children have been covered completely under state health care programs in all of them. I even had a child that had open-heart surgery with a cost to me of $0. Not Medicare. State-funded programs. So I get a little suspicious when I see ads on TV going on about the poor children and how we need a heath care system to save them. It is really about creating a large federal bureaucracy that can get into the most intimate part of your life: your body and your family's health. I suspect, too, that some are jealous of the bloated medical bureacracies of Europe, where the intellectual class is guaranteed high-paying jobs with little accountability to the citizenry. More importantly, if you will notice the kinds of questions your doctor asks you these days, they have more to do with social engineering than your health. Watch out, America!!

Posted by: Honesty | September 16, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

most of the bad guys have been in congress for 20+ years, yet we quibble over who will be pres. for 8 years.......Term Limits folks

Posted by: Ric | September 16, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

How can the WaPo write about health-care policy when there are stories about celebrity endorsements and fundraisers to cover?

Obama's plan is objectively better than McCain's plan. Wait, isn't it more important know whether anyone who attended the same church as the candidate may or may not have hired an illegal alien?

How can this be about substantive issues when all that matters is how the voters 'feel' about the candidates.

Why the sudden change in reporting? Is the editorial board getting nervous about campaign, the war, the economy, the environment, education, women's rights. Have they finally realized what half the country told them in 2000..that GW Bush and the Republicans would sell out America and leave it a mess while a few corporations made off with trillions of dollars?

No More Years!!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 16, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

so basically what this article is saying is....Both will cost money, But Obama's is still much better...

MAIN POINTS:
-McCain's would cover at best 5 million uninsured.
- McCain would tax health benefits while creating a $5,000 tax credit
-McCain, meanwhile, touts his plan as one that will rely more on the consumer market to reform health care. (how is the consumer market????)

Mccain doesnt have a plan other than giving a tax credit on borrowed money...

no way, no how, no McBush-Palin

Posted by: Oregon4Obama | September 16, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has the good ideas, and McCain and Palin always eventually come around to them: change, reform, new energy sources, and, just yesterday, control of deregulation of Wall Street. Eventually they are going to come around to his health care ideas, too.

They say immitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It's clear that McCain and Palin sincerely admire Barack Obama.

Obama all the way!!!!!

Posted by: Jim | September 16, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

These Senators are so blind.
Health insurance is not health care.

You pay for health insruance and then BEG for health care.

We need to be able to buy lifelong permanent health care services, not
stupid insane "health insurance".

I mean wake up people. Health insurance is a crime.

Health insurance does not provide health care.

Someday all the dirty filthy greedy Senators will leave. We need a real American as President not some useless Senator.

Posted by: Thomas | September 16, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Scott, your comment is completely off-topic. This suggests that you have no defense for McCain's disgraceful health care plan, and you would, therefore, like to change the subject.

OK, let's change the subject to social security. McCain has the same privatization plans for social security that he has for health care. If McCain had his way, that money disappearing from Wall Street would be our safety net.

Posted by: DoTheMath | September 16, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Someone said that $2500 credit is $600. That is totally wrong. $2500 is $2500. A credit is total money. A DEDUCTION is what would give you only a portion back. A CREDIT means you literally pay that much less.

All of that is irrelevant to the fact that the health insurance concept as we have in this country is fundamentally corrupt, and McCain's plan has literally no chance of increasing our overall health situation. The market CANNOT work for insurance because you don't know how good the service will be until you become ill, and at that point you are a liability and the insurance company can treat you like crap or dump you if possible, and then it is too late to take your business to the competition. Competition for health CARE is fine and works in a capitalist economy, but competition for insurance fails to provide good service. McCain doesn't care, he just wants to see the big insurance companies get even more money. He doesn't care if people are healthy really, he cares more about the ideology of not having anything be government run, regardless of whether it works or not.

This is really a major issue. Obama's plan is an improvement. McCain's is disaster. But the real issue is that if a REAL plan comes up in congress - something better than Obama's half-way thing, Obama is the president way more likely to sign it. So if you want real health care, elect Obama, but then hassle congress to write a real plan or to support HR 676, which is a bill to provide Medicare to all residents.

Posted by: Aaron | September 16, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Say NO TO INSURANCE.
We need PERMANENT health care facilities
not TEMPORARY VAPORIZING insurance.

They both work for insurance lobby.
They both want you to pay 'taxes' in the form of premiums.

SAY NO TO HEALTH INSURANCE. It is a crime.

Posted by: Thomas | September 16, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Double-Dealing Diplomacy
1 hour, 52 minutes ago (9-16-08)
Investor's Business Daily


Election '08: Barack Obama premised his campaign on calling for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But now he's been quietly telling Iraq "not so fast." It's part of a deceptive pattern.


Election: Barack Obama, who premised his campaign on calling for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, has now been quietly telling Iraq "not so fast." It's part of a deceptive pattern.Iraq's Foreign Minister Moshyar Zebari told the New York Post's Amir Taheri that Obama made delaying the troops' return a key theme of his talks with Iraqi leaders during his campaign stop in Baghdad last July.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the U.S. elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari told Teheri, on the record.

Funny, that's not what Obama told voters. He has made an immediate pullout the cornerstone of his campaign. Taheri's report signals the Democratic standard-bearer would manipulate the war's end for political advantage and is willing to deceive voters to do it.

This in itself is reprehensible. But his secret calls also leave U.S. troops unnecessarily in harm's way. It's the kind of foreign policy meddling that serves Obama's interests over the national interest.

"Obama has given Iraqis the impression that he doesn't want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America," Taheri reported. "To be credible, his foreign-policy philosophy requires Iraq to be seen as a failure, a disaster, a quagmire, a pig with lipstick or any of the other apocalyptic adjectives used by the American defeat industry in the past five years."

Can Obama be trusted? We ask because he's shown a pattern of secretive double-dealing with voters, not just in his talking about small town voters one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco, as Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin pointed out, but particularly in foreign affairs.

It dates back to at least February, when Obama's economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, secretly told the Canadian embassy that Obama's demagoguery against NAFTA in the primaries was just a Styrofoam-pillar bid to win the Ohio vote.

Obama's pattern of deception continued. In March, Colombian troops raided a FARC terrorist camp in Ecuador and recovered a terrorist computer belonging to a top FARC warlord, Raul Reyes.

Computer e-mails revealed that someone who knew Obama's positions had secretly met with the terrorists and assured them Obama would cut U.S. military aid under Plan Colombia and veto its free trade pact. Both are major goals of the Marxist terrorists aligned with America's enemies.

Subsequent events confirmed this. Obama did come out in favor of shutting Colombia out of free trade. More disturbingly, Obama adviser Daniel Restrepo last week told Colombia's Radio Caracol that Obama planned to convert the military aid Colombia needs to crush terrorists into social aid programs that don't.

That's not the end of it. Now Obama is double-dealing with Iraqi officials to leave American troops in harm's way and prolong the appearance of war long enough to call it a failure and win votes.

The astonishing thing about Obama's deals is they're the very thing Democrats accused Republicans of without a shred of proof.

They accused Richard Nixon of making a secret deal with the North Vietnamese to prolong the Vietnam war enough to presumably win election in 1968.

Years later, in 1980, they accused Ronald Reagan of making a secret deal with Iranian terrorists holding U.S. diplomats hostage to win election over incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Neither of these claims, often repeated by leftist historians, has ever been proven. But the statement of Iraq's foreign minister, speaking to a leading writer on foreign policy, is considerably stronger as evidence. It signals that Obama places politics over the national interest to the extent that he would work against his own public positions to gull voters into electing him.

It's the absolute opposite of John McCain's courageous position supporting the surge in Iraq, even as politicos were warning him he'd lose the election for it. "I'd rather lose an election than lose a war," McCain said.

With Obama's promises to sit down with dictators in Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran, voters have a right to ask if he's made any deals at odds with his public condemnations of them, too. Before he starts acting like president, he needs to come clean to voters and reveal his true positions. Whatever they are, voters have a right to know.


Posted by: Scott | September 16, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

McCain in April declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, was back with the campaign last week.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.


In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.


*The $100 Million Man*
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.


*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.


*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.


*McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.


*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt - Priceless*
That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.


*Charity Begins at Home*
As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:
.
Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.


*Private Jet Setters*
As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."


*Help on the Homefront*
In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."


*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N38Ug_ugzXs
.

Posted by: McCain is a LIAR! | September 16, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that they both want to spend about the same amount on health care, but Obama's plan covers many more people.

Posted by: Anna | September 16, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see how McCain's plan will work.
A $2500 tax credit means you get about $600 back for the year. Currently, insurance plans on the market cost about $300/month or $3600/year. Do those $600 really make a difference?

Posted by: thor | September 16, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

TARGETING OF U.S. CITIZENS BY GOV'T AGENCIES: A ROOT CAUSE OF WALL STREET FINANCIAL MELTDOWN?
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/targeting-u-s-citizens-govt-agencies-root-cause-wall-street-financial-crisis

Posted by: Outside the Box | September 16, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Whether they're here legally or illegally, they get treated at our expense if they go to a hospital emergency room. It just makes sense to deal with that in a realistic way. Questions of what to do with illegal immigrants is a seperate problem--as long as they are here they need insurance.

Posted by: anna | September 16, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Does their being citizens of other countries, even if here illegally, make them not uninsured?

Posted by: zukermand | September 16, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Sen McCain will tax you out of your health insurance.

Republican Health Plan: "Don't get sick."

Posted by: zukermand | September 16, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I congratulate the WaPo on covering something related to policy.

However, they might want to point out that the number 47 million is way, way off. Specifically, almost 10 million of that number are citizens of other countries, some here illegally:

http://24ahead.com/blog/archives/007950.html

Posted by: 24AheadDotCom | September 16, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company