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SEIU Launches New Ad Critical of McCain Health Care Plan



By Ed O'Keefe
The Service Employees International Union is targeting John McCain's health care plan in a new ad airing in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, suggesting the Republican's plan will mean tax increases for middle income Americans.

The ad features two women shopping in a grocery store, discussing how one of them may have difficulty paying for her husband's recent medical operation. An announcer then says, "McCain's health care plan would raise taxes for many families and would deny coverage for pre-existing conditions like cancer."

That assertion comes from a Center for American Progress study that suggests McCain's plan would lead to tax increases for middle-income Americans. The plan both taxes employer-provided health benefits as salary for the first time and provides individuals with a $2,500 tax credit for health insurance ($5,000 for a family).

The Post's Fact Checker concludes that "most American families would come out slightly ahead for the next decade at least" under the McCain health care tax credit plan, but, as Perry Bacon reported in a recent story, "independent studies suggest that once such a credit is offered, many firms will stop offering their employees health care benefits."

The union will also send literature to 390,000 "undecided health care workers" in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and Wisconsin, the union says. The mailer compares McCain and Barack Obama's health care proposals. "Only Barack Obama's plan controls costs, expands coverage and holds insurance companies accountable," the mailer says. SEIU will also send an informational DVD about health care issues related more specifically to seniors to voters in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The union will spend $1 million to air the ad in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for one week and maybe expand it thereafter. The new ad comes as the Obama campaign has started airing ads about health care that also suggest McCain's health care proposals would raise taxes on middle income Americans. Back in late April, the SEIU aired an ad attacking McCain's health care proposals. It also aired pro-Obama ads during the Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas Democratic primaries.

Posted at 4:54 PM ET on Oct 6, 2008  | Category:  Channel 08
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Hi leeh, I went to that left wing pinko newpaper, the Salt Lake City Tribune for this quote on the number of uninsured:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain, a senator from Arizona, advocates taxing employer-provided health benefits and giving people a tax credit to buy coverage.

His Democratic opponent, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, says he wants to expand government programs and subsidize private coverage to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, now at 45.7 million people.


BTW, McCain poses taxing health insurance benefits which will force more people into the private market with his $5k tax credit to pay for something that costs $12K. So, either way we get a tax increase. With McCain's plan we know it will be approximately $7,000 directly out of the consumer's pocket. If you've got a pre-existing condition like asthma or high-blood pressure, you're on your own with McCain's plan.

Since private individual insurers spend 20% of their collected premiums on administration and group insurers spend 12% of their collected revenues on administration, it seems logical that a plan based on Medicare with its 3% administrative costs, would be more efficient and less costly based on simple economics and the inherent profit motive of private corporations which isn't there for the governmental program.

I do agree with your comment about the myriad of state insurance regulations adding expense. There should be a minimum federal standard adopted that will make it easier to offer policies nationally.

I also believe that provision in the Medicare Prescription Drug Act that bars the government from negotiation with the pharmaceutical industry for lower prices should be repealed immediately. Basic economic theory states that the more of an item an entity purchases, the lower the per unit price of that item should be. It's the entire basis of WalMart's business model.

Posted by: flyfishchef | October 7, 2008 2:42 PM

A free market de regulated healthcare system would plunge more working Americans in the harsh realm of un insured. Group plans use the power of the group to spread the risks of insurers, lowering overall premiums, and this group can demand better quality. One person alone fighting against an Insurance Giant, that is an American cliche for the abuses of big business, they get nothing.

Posted by: mjtaylor22

What we also need is to be able to travel across state lines to get your insurance. Right now, you can only get group insurance based in the state where you live.

Posted by: leeh11281 | October 7, 2008 1:24 PM

The officials, with organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Business, predicted in recent interviews that the McCain plan, which eliminates the exclusion of health benefits from income taxes, would accelerate the erosion of employer-sponsored health insurance and do little to reduce the number of uninsured from 45 million.

Posted by: flyfishchef

1> The total number of uninsured is actually around 9 million. Get the facts straight.
2> Barack Obama's health plan doesn't tax you, but taxes your employer heavier (result = less jobs/worse economy).

Posted by: leeh11281 | October 7, 2008 1:22 PM

Even Republican business associations don't agree with McCain's Health Care Plan

From the Oct. 7th NY Times:

American business, typically a reliable Republican cheerleader, is decidedly lukewarm about Senator John McCain’s proposal to overhaul the health care system by revamping the tax treatment of health benefits, officials with leading trade groups say.

The officials, with organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Business, predicted in recent interviews that the McCain plan, which eliminates the exclusion of health benefits from income taxes, would accelerate the erosion of employer-sponsored health insurance and do little to reduce the number of uninsured from 45 million.

Posted by: flyfishchef | October 7, 2008 11:53 AM

A free market de regulated healthcare system would plunge more working Americans in the harsh realm of un insured. Group plans use the power of the group to spread the risks of insurers, lowering overall premiums, and this group can demand better quality. One person alone fighting against an Insurance Giant, that is an American cliche for the abuses of big business, they get nothing.

Posted by: mjtaylor22 | October 7, 2008 11:20 AM

ACCEPTING CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ASSOCIATES OF KNOWN TERRORISTS?

The Ayers-Weber-McCain connection. Truth? Guilt by Association? We report. YOU Decide!

Arnold R. "Arnie" Weber is a Chicago Annenberg Board Member and Chicago "insider". He was a part of the Nixon White House. Arnie Weber has held other Washington "insider" jobs too. He is a LONGTIME REPUBLICAN DONOR. But get this: Arnie Weber was a BOARD MEMBER of the infamous **CHICAGO ANNNENBERG CHALLENGE** organization, which was founded by known "TERRORIST" Bill Ayers!

Sarah Palin was using "guilt by association". This, however, is a two way street but Gov. Palin may not understand this.

NEW INFORMATION SHOWS THAT JOHN MCCAIN HAS ACCEPTED "TAINTED" CAMPAIGN MONEY FROM ARNIE WEBER, AN ASSOCIATE OF BILL AYERS.

Arnie Weber has given the maximum legal amount of $1,500 to the McCain campaign in 2008. He probably would have given more if allowed by law. In 2008, Arnie Weber made two separate donations of $1,000 and $500 to McCain’s presidential campaign run by EX-LOBBYIST AND WASHINGTON INSIDER RICK DAVIS.

I demand that Senator McCain denounce this man, Arnie Weber, and his associations to "terrorists" (as defined by his vice-presidential running mate, Sarah Palin). I call on Senator McCain to reject these tainted donations. John McCain should then investigate how such a thing could possibly happen inside HIS OWN CAMPAIGN before seeking to cast stones at Senator Obama. McCain's campaign CEO, RICK DAVIS, needs to explain to the AMERICAN VOTERS his reasons for accepting this dirty money. Are they really that desperate to win this election? Doesn't John McCain still believe in the honor that he felt when defending this country against the enemy in Vietnam where he served as a prisoner of war for years? Doesn't Senator McCain, a Christian, understand that he must remove the log from his own eye before trying to remove the splinter from the eye of his opponent? (Matthew 7:5)

We can't use healthcare if we are all dead because of terrorist attacks! Ok, so that is a feeble attempt to stay on topic here. :)

THE "LIBERAL MEDIA" SHOULD ASK JOHN MCCAIN WHY HE ACCEPTED THIS TAINTED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THIS "TERRORIST" ASSOCIATE. Incredible as it may sound, Arnie Weber doesn't even DENY that he ASSOCIATED FOR YEARS with a "KNOWN TERRORIST".

However... This is probably just because he hasn't been asked about it...

Now for the reality check, folks: It turns out that these types of "facts" are simply BASELESS SMEAR ATTACKS WITH NO MERIT! Yes. It is true. Attacks like this are meant to distract the uninformed voters near the end of an election. We don't hear about them very often because most candidates have too much integrity to run them. They know that winning an election based on lies is unacceptable. Besides, people want to talk about REAL issues affecting REAL lives, not play a game of "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon".

Random associations are EASY to find. For instance, it turns out that you can trace Obama's FAMILY TREE to both George W. Bush (10th cousins once removed) and Dick Cheney (eighth cousins). Yep! They are legally RELATIVES. This is yet another useless "fact" for Trivial Pursuit lovers, but it is not worthy of any media time in this national election for the greatest country on God's green earth.

If you want some more guilt by association, here is something to find out for yourself. Who said this? Who supports this guy and his political party? "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag."

Guilt by association is an attack on voters and on the electoral process. Voters need to learn about the issues. Governor Palin should apologize for raising this STUPID guilt by association tactic against Senator Obama. And if she REALLY believes what she is saying, she REALLY should demand that they return "Arnie" Weber's campaign donations. Seriously. To do anything short of that would be blatant hypocrisy.

"Sooner or later, people are going to figure out if all you run is negative attack ads you don't have much of a vision for the future or you're not ready to articulate it." [John McCain - The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer - 2/21/2000]

America would do well in 2008 to listen to the words of this man from eight years ago.

Posted by: wunderwood | October 7, 2008 2:03 AM

It has been clear for decades that the single most effective way to control health care costs is to eliminate the tax break for employer-provided health care...this single reform could reduce health care costs by 40% with essentially no effect on health care outcomes.

Reduce health care costs for whom? The Federal Government? Private Insurers?

Eliminating the tax break and forcing 20 million people out into the private insurance market isn't going reduce their health care costs, it's going to increase them, directly out of pocket by an average of $7,000 per year.

Think of that $7K as the McCain Health Care Tax but it goes to inefficient private insurers rather staying in the tax payer's wallets. Just like the GOP Prescription Drug Bill, it's another huge handout to the private insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies.

GOP = No Millionaires and No Major Campaign Contributors Left Behind.

No thanks, Johnny.

Posted by: flyfishchef | October 7, 2008 1:29 AM

I have a simple question for Senator McCain and Governor Palin who believe that the private sector is always more efficient than government and government is usually the problem rather than the solution.

Why is it that private sector insurers selling individual health plans spend 29 percent of the premiums they receive on administration and admin costs of 12 percent for group plans but Medicare spends just 3 percent on admin costs?

Private Sector Private Insurance `10x the administrative cost of Medicare.

Private Sector Group Insurance 4X the administrative costs of Medicare.

Now, it's been over 20 years since I studied economics at the University of Texas but I'm fairly certain that lower administrative costs are a direct result of greater administrative efficiency and lower costs directly result in lower premiums especially in a program that isn't designed to turn a profit but, hopefully, break even.

This quote from Johnny Mac should prove popular with the citizenry in light of recent events:

“Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

Posted by: flyfishchef | October 7, 2008 1:20 AM

If you are having any doubts about which plan is better Obama's or McCain's, Check at this site, for the analysis of a Princeton Professor of political economy.

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/triage/2008/10/a-princeton-pro.html

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 7, 2008 12:37 AM

thecannula

The other thing that is bad about the McCain insurance plan is that it deregulates health care insurance which will open up the insured to the problem of unscrupulous insures who will start their operations in states with impotent or no insurance commissioners.

The McCain plan would require a federal insurance commissioner to protect against this.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 6, 2008 9:41 PM

McCain gets health care right.
Posted by: thecannula | October 6, 2008 8:00 PM

First thing is that McCain does nothing for health care and Obama does somewhat more. They both have health insurance plan. You may think that is nitpicking but your attention is on cost and not health care. Since McCains effect on the uninsured is minimal his plan falls short of Obama's. I couls be haughty and say end of case. You are wrong.

Instead I will point out that consumers will remain at the mercy of health insurance companies because of pre-existing illness exclusions.

Since medical illnesses is the leading cause of bankruptcies and lack of proper health insurance coverage is a major contributor to that.
-------------------+++++++-------------------
"The reason poor Americans get too little health care is that rich Americans get too much."
Posted by: thecannula | October 6, 2008 8:00 PM

Having been a physician for three decades, I can tell you that you care about health care economics and probably the insurance industry you neither know nor care about health care delivery. Although the poor get too little care and many including the rich demand too much health care. There is no causal relationship. If you want to limit the insurance companies pay out for unneeded services that is one problem. But there is no solution to the uninsured health care problems without including them in the insured pool. McCain plan does not do that.

What people need is health care that is available to them. That means no pre-existing conditions and coverage for the presently uninsured. That is not part of McCain's plan.

If you have a theory that taxing health care insurance will lower costs you could present the foundation of that theory. Since some of your pronouncements seem inconsistent with my experience, I will tell you that I am more suspicious of what your stake in this issue is and who your employer is. I am a retired physician, not in practice for several years but I feel that it is my obligation to protect the rights of patients who have had a raw deal since the Reagan administration and the appearance of HMO's

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 6, 2008 9:30 PM

The bottom line is: After the $700 billion dollar bailout, Obama declaring he will still insure an additional 47 million Americans with public funds has all credibility inherent in the Commissioner of the More Taste League banning low taste light beer.

Posted by: thecannula | October 6, 2008 8:10 PM

Excerpt from Steven Landsburg-
see below

4. McCain gets health care right. The reason poor Americans get too little health care is that rich Americans get too much. The reason rich Americans get too much is that they're overinsured, and therefore run to the doctor for minor problems. The reason they're overinsured is that employer-provided health benefits aren't taxed, so employers overprovide them.
It has been clear for decades that the single most effective way to control health care costs is to eliminate the tax break for employer-provided health care. According to one careful study by my colleague Charles Phelps (admittedly several years old, but I'm not sure anything relevant has changed), this single reform could reduce health care costs by 40% with essentially no effect on health care outcomes.
Essential as this reform may be, I'd always assumed it was a political non-starter. I was therefore astonished to learn that it's the essence of McCain's health care reform. (At the same time, he would give each individual $2500, and each family $5000, to use for health care.)
I am astonished that I hadn't heard about this, and particularly astonished that Barack Obama hasn't thrust it in my face with a negative spin. Possibly he has and I just wasn't paying attention. In any case, this is just what the doctor ordered, and I am delighted that McCain has put it on the table.
Obama, by contrast, wants poor people to get more medical care without addressing the problem of overuse by rich people. Where is that extra medical care going to come from? If the answer is "nowhere," then a primary effect of the Obama plan must be to raise prices, making doctors and hospitals the big beneficiaries.


Posted by: thecannula | October 6, 2008 8:00 PM

mc cain stick to the issues the americans want to know are you a nit pickin 10 year old or are you an adult. name calling is for children, and people who have nothing else they are capable of putting out. Go Home and take your VP pick of the year to the nearest plane on a one way trip to Alaska

We, the people of this country deserve to know what the he**l you are going to do about the economy, health plans for the workers, and seniors.

Keep your name calling where it belongs, and that sure aint the appropriate campaigning technique for a person who would be President - strictly gutter talk thats what it is!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | October 6, 2008 7:23 PM

My spouse and I are not rich, and we have health care. Yes, it is expensive, but we know that we need it, so we make it a part of our budget because it would be foolish not have it. We wouldn't be able to afford it if we wasted money by driving a big gas guzzling SUV, or purchased a new vehicle every year, or took expensive vacations, etc ... we make the exceptions that are necessary because it is the responsible thing to.

Let's face it folks, the same people who got into mortgages that they knew they couldn't afford, who take no responsibly for their own actions or their life, are largely the segments of the population that don't have health care. It's time for this country to stop sitting back and waiting for the government to take care of them and to start taking care of themselves.

Americans are the most wasteful glutenous people on the face of the earth. It's evidenced by the growing number of morbidly obese people who are smoking while riding around in their gas-hog SUV's. They are ruining their own health and expect someone else to pay the cost of their health care bills ... not to mention that they are wasting fuel as well. Even if we had a national health care plan, the people who are now uninsured would want the government to give it to them.

Get off your butts, start taking care of health and take responsibility for your life, and the cost of health care will go down for everyone. If it sounds like I am disgusted ... your right.

Posted by: mythoughts02 | October 6, 2008 7:13 PM

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT WAS OSAMA BEN LADIN GOOD FRIEND, THINGS GOING SOUR...BUSH STILL MAKE BUSINESS WITH HIS FAMILY,I MEAN OILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

THAT MAKE BUSH A TERRRORIST!!!


NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 6, 2008 7:08 PM

The Great OB will cure the Galactic Republic USAmerica.
The Hollywood Celebrities Council led by Oprah asked the Great OB to attend it in secret as the crucial matters would be discussed. Oprah chastised the Great Obama for not explaining his cure to the USAmericans. “Now is the time to throw that out and mix it up with their minds. The time is now, the Great One.” George Clooney continued with stuttering voice “we would use some of that healthcare ourselves without paying for it. We need to redirect the discussion to a healthcare plan.” Samuel Jackson repeated his mantra “everybody got to be healthy.” Matt Damon and Ben Affleck agreed grudgingly “healthcare plan, healthcare plan, healthcare plan.” Barbara Streisand sang uplifting song titled “The Great OB brings us plan for the cure.” Steve Spielberg raised the stake by reminding them all about the Force “Repubs are evil, they promote choice of healthcare. They promote personal responsibility. They promote hard work. The promote individualism. The Great OB, I cannot take it anymore.” They all agreed that Democs are the ones to rescue the Galactic Republic USAmerica. The Great OB will lead the Force. Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Scarlett Johansson were asked to report to Beverly Hills for the fundraiser.
The next day, the Great OB led the Force into his speech in NC. This time the Little OB Biden was not travelling with him. The Great OB said that the Darth Vader Mac has no health care plan whatsoever. “This time we outhealtcare him” said the Great OB, “we must boost up our health coverage capabilities.” He pointed at Axel & rod “you will be in charge of the Force.”
“I want you to know that I’m going to keep on talking about the issues that matter – about the economy and health care and education and energy. I’m going to keep on standing up for hard working families.” This was great, the crowd roared. The Great OB was thrilled. “So it’s clear that the time has come – right now – to solve this problem: to cut health care costs for families and businesses, and provide affordable, accessible health insurance for every American.” More roaring of the crowd. The Great OB was ecstatic. “Let me be clear – I don’t think government can solve all our problems. But I reject the radical idea that government has no role to play in protecting ordinary Americans.” The crowd almost exploded in roars. The Great OB was floating in the air. “I will be the government.”
“This is my plan: first, we’ll take on the drug companies; second, we’ll focus on prevention; third, we’ll reduce waste and inefficiency by using the latest technologies to move our health care system into the 21st century; fourth, we’ll reduce the cost of our care by improving the quality of our care; fifth, we’ll help businesses and workers by picking up the tab for some of the most expensive illnesses.” The crowd stood silent in disbelieve. “That’s why my plan will cover all Americans.” The crowd exploded in dancing, roaring, and wildness. The Great OB continued unmoved: “And here’s how I’ll pay for my plan. First, I will aggressively cut health care costs by reducing waste, greed and paperwork; I’ll cover that remaining cost with a portion of the money I’ll save by ending George Bush’s tax breaks for people making more than $250,000 a year; In the end, none of this will be easy.” Silence fell on the huge field covered by the crowd. No one was dancing anymore. No one was roaring anymore. There was no wildness.
The battle of the Healthcare went smoothly. The rally was well received. The Great OB blamed the Ruler W’s policies to cure the Galactic Republic USAmerica . The Great OB was ecstatic, “the Force is with us.” He pointed at the picture of the Darth Vader Mac, “he is fading away.” The only thing that stands between us and the dominance of the Gallactic Republic USAmerica is the Governess Palin. “We unleash the dark forces of the media at her. She is bound to crackle under dominance and unforgiving weight of the questions from the Charlie and Kathy. I addition, we unleash comedian Tina Fey on her. They all are sweet robots for us. We must remember to reward them later on.”
The great OB flew out of NC to the vast prairies of the Galactic Republic USAmerica to hold more of his educational rallies. “This is all the fault of the Ruler W and the Dark Vador Mac.” The media reported that the polls went up for the Great OB. The Hollywood Celebrities Council sent the Great OB congratulations and informed him that they were sending reinforcements led by the great Rockers Bruce, Billy and Bon Jovi. The Great OB was again ecstatic “This time we will not pull back. We will destroy Governess Palin and the Darth Vader Mac will fall. “The Great OB sighed with relieve “The victory is close.” Just one more speech, just one more rally, more trashing of the Ruler W and the Dark Vador Mac. Just one more promise about the universal healthcare. There was nothing that could stop the Great OB.

Posted by: Wiel | October 6, 2008 7:07 PM

McCain simply wants to give the employers paying for health insurance an easy out to drop their plans. And if you are like myself, when my co paid health insurance ended in 1997, and cobra ended by the end of 1998, I was offered insurance for $30,000/year for myself only, because I had a blood test indicative of possible prostate cancer. I was really lucky to find an employer who offered health insurance, and of course on group health insurance, they couldn't reject me or raise my rates. so I made it to medicare.

Private insurance is a wonderful business if you take in premiums, and don't pay them out. Our nation is full of all kinds of stories about how insurance companies have floors full of people whose only job is to find excuses to avoid paying off. I might also add that we are the only western industrialized nation that does not guarantee insurance for its citizens.

There is a simple solution to this problem. Just open medicare to all. Fund it with a percentage add on of income tax revenue. Sure, the superwealthy will complain, but isn't it fair that for such a basic necessity, whose availability to all should be one of our moral values, this is what we need to do.

And by the way, the admin cost of running medicare is about 1-2%, while the cost of private insurance is more like 25%.

And we could further fund it by special taxes on poisons like tobacco, which along with obesity, are two of our greatest controllable health hazards.

If you are pro life, you just have to be pro medical care for all. If you support McCains plan, all you are doing is hoping to throw those who are at health risk - older people, those with pre-existing conditions, etc to the wolves, delivering to them the real message of McCain's proposal - tough, just go suffer and die. Unless you are the super rich like he is.

Posted by: SteveMD21 | October 6, 2008 6:48 PM

Comments about McCains statements from janiebarrera:

Just where is john McCain. In the beginning he was the strong silent type, a man of honor who would do away with all the booger men and subdue terrorism. Then he changed tack when noticing Obamas message and suddenly decided to be an agent of change.

After deregulating and helping the S/L disaster he admits he knows nothing about economics but has assisted in de regulation of banking. If he didn't know anything about it he shouldn't get involved. Now he does an about turn and is in favor off regulating the thing he was in favor of de regulating. Just where is he.

If it hasn't worked for S/L and banking why would it work for health insurance.? Of course I'm sure all senators have really good coverage paid for by the tax payer after all they are the new nobility so why not extend the benefits they get for all of us?

The only thing he remains constant on is the claim he would make a better commander in chief and yet so many times he has voted against support for the military. In real terms this is a war we cant win cant afford and need to get out of. whats more with 1 million illegals in this country and a porous border the war doesn't make us safer.

His pick for vice president shows a distinct lack of understanding as to what is required and is a serious lack of judgment.
The last thing this country needs is a loose cannon floating around on the deck at a time it is has a serious problem

Posted by: akpat | October 6, 2008 6:33 PM

IS MCCAIN serious about cutting Federal Health Care? Doesnt that affect all seniors, all poor people and people in remission from Cancer (like me, who relies on Medi-cal for some treatments (if needed). Enough, he is no friends to all the senior citizens. Why not cut the Defense Budget, you warmonger!

Posted by: latinovoter | October 6, 2008 6:33 PM

Did anyone else see Jon Voight Go Crazy attacking Obama on The Fox Channel last night, here is the video http://www.huckabeeshow.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 6, 2008 6:29 PM

BUSH,HE'S GOOD FRIEND OF OSAMA BEN LADIN FAMILY

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 6, 2008 6:27 PM

McCain is a self destructive human being, especially with this info coming out right now.

Just let him do it to himself; but don't you dare let John McCain GET ANYWHERE NEAR YOU, YOUR FAMILY or YOUR FUTURE.

He's goint to become case study for behaviorial psychologists in a nationally renouned medical school.

Posted by: TruthWalksOnWater | October 6, 2008 6:25 PM

On economic issues and health care it is obvious that Barack Obama has a better plan for Americas Middle Class period. Mc Sames tactics now are despicable. Mc Same said their is a special place in hell for the same exact people he hired to run his own campaign now when they smeared him. MC Same has lost his moral compass and will not be able to find it before he gets trounced in the election on November 4th. Barack Obama will soon be our President and we can then take our country back and put it on a righteous path. OBAMANOS! YES WE WILL BRING THE CHANGE WE NEED NOW BY ELECTING THE BETTER MAN BARACK OBAMA!

Posted by: pedraza1 | October 6, 2008 6:17 PM

McCain's plan is a disaster.

I have a good friend who is diabetic. McCain's plan will result in large premiums for him. If you've had a heart attack, cancer, any major illness, your rates will go up.

The idea that health care is oversupplied --- that rich people use too much of it -- is ridiculous. This country spends far too much on health care, mainly because people who don't have insurance end up getting care in the most expensive form, and after problems have become serious.

There are 47 MILLION people without health care in this country. 80% of them are working families. McCain's plan would add at most 1 million, leaving 46 million in the same situation.

This is the only industrialized democracy in the world without universal health care, and we spend more per capita than any country in the world on health care.

Insurance companies are ripoffs. 29% of premiums are spent on administrative costs and profit. Medicare spends 3% on administration. Government is 10 TIMES more efficient in providing this service.

10 times. 10.

Obama's plan while not perfect is much better. Everyone will be able to buy health insurance at a rate pegged to their income. Regardless of pre-existing conditions. Parents will be required to insure their children. More available on his website.

By-the-way, for everyone who heard John McCain say that North Koreans are 3 inches shorter than South Koreans, which proves how terrible their government is... Americans are 2 inches shorter than Europeans, reversing the difference during World War II.

The reason? Europeans get better health care, and live healthier lifestyles. Lest you think that American companies need the health insurance break to compete, I'll point out that they can out-compete America -- who's been buying up our car companies?

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 6, 2008 6:17 PM

Regarding comments from:

Steven E. Landsburg (born 1954) is an American professor of economics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. From 1989 to 1995, he taught at Colorado State University.)

Betting on John McCain.

Your comments on trade are not quite correct. Trading does not necessarily mean a strong economy. At present we trade a lot and it has contributed to a fall in our economy. The reason is simple. If you have a balance of trades surplus you have a strong economy whereas if you have a deficit you are in trouble. Thats where we are.

A really strong economy is driven by manufacturing which adds value to basic commodities . Manufacturing provides high paying jobs but we've lost this due to a deliberate move on the part of the captains of industry to make as much abroad as they can. In turn the feds have printed more money to pay for a war we cant win and now we are paying the price. Inflation is about 100% of the last 8 years and is caused by people in charge who don't know what they are doing implementing policies that they dont know the effect off.

Unless the feds balance the budget and quit spending money on the war and other stupid things we are sunk.

Posted by: akpat | October 6, 2008 6:14 PM

Regarding comments from:

Steven E. Landsburg (born 1954) is an American professor of economics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. From 1989 to 1995, he taught at Colorado State University.)

Betting on John McCain.

Your comments on trade are not quite correct. Trading does not necessarily mean a strong economy. At present we trade a lot and it has contributed to a fall in our economy. The reason is simple. If you have a balance of trades surplus you have a strong economy whereas if you have a deficit you are in trouble. Thats where we are.

A really strong economy is driven by manufacturing which adds value to basic commodities . Manufacturing provides high paying jobs but we've lost this due to a deliberate move on the part of the captains of industry to make as much abroad as they can. In turn the feds have printed more money to pay for a war we cant win and now we are paying the price. Inflation is about 100% of the last 8 years and is caused by people in charge who don't know what they are doing implementing policies that they dont know the effect off.

Unless the feds balance the budget and quit spending money on the war and other stupid things we are sunk.

Posted by: akpat | October 6, 2008 6:13 PM

Remarks By John McCain In Albuquerque, NM - October 6, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain today delivered the following remarks as prepared for delivery at the McCain-Palin 2008 rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico:

"In less than a month, the American people will make a choice on where they want this country to go, and who they trust to lead us in a time of war and economic crisis. The time for debating and electioneering is drawing to a close. Soon it will be the time for choosing.

Today we have seen a reminder of the importance of that choice. The action Congress took last week to address our financial crisis was a tourniquet, but not a permanent solution. Today we are seeing the stock market fall, and the credit crisis spread to other parts of the world. Our economy is still hurting -- working families are worried about the price of groceries, the price of gas, keeping their jobs and paying their mortgage -- further action is needed. We need to restore confidence in our economy and in our government.

Washington is still on the wrong track and we still need change. The status quo is not on the ballot. We are going to see change in Washington. The question is: in what direction will we go? Will our country be a better place under the leadership of the next president -- a more secure, prosperous, and just society? Will you be better off, in the jobs you hold now and in the opportunities you hope for? Will your sons and daughters grow up in the kind of country you wish for them, rising in the world and finding in their own lives the best of America? And which candidate's experience -- in government and in life -- makes him a more reliable leader for our country and commander in chief for our troops? Who is ready to lead? In a time of trouble and danger for our country, who will put our country first?

I set out on my own campaign for president many months ago. I promised at the beginning to be straight with the American people, knowing that even those who don't agree with me on everything would expect at least that much. I didn't just show up out of nowhere, after all -- America knows me. You know my strengths and my faults. You know my story and my convictions. And though familiarity in politics can be both helpful to a candidate, or not so helpful, it does at least fill out the picture and answer the essential questions. You need to know who you're putting in the White House -- where the candidate came from and what he or she believes. And you need to know now, before it is time to choose.

In 21 months, during hundreds of speeches, town halls and debates, I have kept my promise to level with you about my plans to reform Washington and get this country moving again. As a senator, I've seen the corrupt ways of Washington in wasteful spending and other abuses of power, and as president I'm going to end them -- whatever it takes. I will propose and sign into law reforms to bring tax relief to the middle class and help to businesses so they can create jobs. I will get the rising cost of food and gas under control. I will help families keep their home, and help students struggling to pay for college. I will make health care more accessible and affordable. I will impose a spending freeze on all but the most vital functions of government. I will review every agency of the federal government, improve those that need to be improved and eliminate those that aren't working for the American people. I will confront th e ten trillion-dollar debt that the federal government has run up, and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office.

This is the agenda I have set before my fellow citizens. And the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent. Even at this late hour in the campaign, there are essential things we don't know about Senator Obama or the record that he brings to this campaign.

We have all heard what he has said, but it is less clear what he has done or what he will do. What Senator Obama says today and what he has done in the past are often two different things. He has often changed his positions in this campaign, and the best way to determine where he would really take this country is to examine where he has tried to take it in the past.

My opponent has invited serious questioning by announcing a few weeks ago that he would quote -- "take off the gloves." Since then, whenever I have questioned his policies or his record, he has called me a liar.

Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. But let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don't need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn't seek advice from a Chicago politician.

My opponent's touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who's already authored two memoirs, he's not exactly an open book. It's as if somehow the usual rules don't apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, Senator Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there's always a back story with Senator Obama. All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.

Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?

This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.

Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, "a good idea." Well, Senator Obama, that "good idea" has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

To hear him talk now, you'd think he'd always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did. He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign.

He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn't he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won't tell you, but you deserve an answer.

Even after he refused to lift a finger to prevent this crisis, when the crisis hit, he was missing in action. He didn't start making calls to round up votes until after the rescue bill failed in the House and the markets crashed. We continue to see the price of delay today as the markets continue to fall. Today the DOW has fallen below 10,000. And yet, members of his own party said they felt no pressure to vote for the bill. Why didn't Senator Obama work to pass this bill from the start? Why did he let it fail and drag out this crisis for a full week before doing a thing to help pass it?

Again on taxes, we see a difference between what Senator Obama says today, what he said yesterday and what he has actually done. Over the course of this campaign, he has had many different plans to raise your taxes. During the Democratic primary, he promised to double taxes on every American with a dividend or an investment. He promised to raise payroll taxes. He promised higher taxes on electricity. Now, Senator Obama claims he will give 95 percent of Americans tax relief. He actually promised the same thing when he was running for Senate in Illinois, but once elected he never introduced legislation to do so. Instead, he voted for the Democratic budget resolution that promised to raise taxes on people making just 42,000 dollars a year. At the time, he even said his vote was intended to get "our nation's priorities back on track." If he's such a defender of the middle class, why did he vote to raise their taxes? Whatever ha ppened to the tax relief he promised them when he was a candidate for the Senate? And why should middle class Americans trust him to keep promises he has already broken?

Senator Obama and I both have differences with how President Bush has handled the economy. But he thinks taxes are too low, and I think spending is too high. The government's out of control spending has resulted in a weaker dollar, raising the cost of groceries and gasoline, and killing jobs.

I will veto pork barrel legislation and cut wasteful government spending. Senator Obama has a different plan. According to third party estimates, he will increase government spending by over 860 billion dollars. He has denied it, but he has refused to tell you how much he does plan to spend. What is the total of his increased spending? Americans deserve to know just how much more of their money Senator Obama intends to spend, and how much more debt he plans to burden them with.

Senator Obama has also criticized earmark spending, those wasteful pork barrel projects stuck in spending bills behind closed doors. And yet, despite his talk on the campaign trail, his actual record is full of requests for earmark projects. In his three short years in the Senate, he has requested nearly a billion dollars in pork projects for his state -- a million dollars for every day he's been in office. Far from fighting earmarks in Congress, Senator Obama has been an eager participant in this corrupt system. In one instance, he sought more than 3 million dollars for a new projector at a planetarium in his hometown. Coincidentally, the chairman of that planetarium pledged to raise more than $200,000 for Senator Obama's campaign. We don't know if they ever discussed the money for the planetarium, and no one has asked Senator Obama. But even the appearance of this kind of insider-dealing disgusts Americans. I'm going to put a stop to that, my friends, if I'm President.

I have made every single donor to my campaign publicly available, while Senator Obama has taken in over 200 million dollars from undisclosed sources. We have already seen the potential for fraud because of his refusal to disclose his donors. His campaign had to return $33,000 in illegal foreign funds from Palestinian donors, and this weekend, we found out about another $28,000 in illegal donations. Why has Senator Obama refused to disclose the people who are funding his campaign? Again, the American people deserve answers.

On health care, Senator Obama has been misleading you about my plan to give you more money for health care, and he has been equally misleading about his own plans. He has said his goal is a single payer system where government is in charge of health care and bureaucrats stand between you and your doctor. Under the plan he has proposed, he will fine families that don't have the kind of health insurance that Senator Obama tells them to purchase. He will fine employers who do not offer the health insurance that he thinks they should offer.

What he doesn't say, and what nobody has asked, is how big his fines will be. What he doesn't want you to know is that with a small fine, his plan will encourage companies to just pay the fine, drop existing health care coverage for their employees and leave them with only one real option: government run health care.

Who is the real Senator Obama? Is he the candidate who promises to cut middle class taxes, or the politician who voted to raise middle class taxes? Is he the candidate who talks about regulation or the politician who took money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned a blind eye as they ran our economy into a ditch?

Is he the candidate who promises change, or is he the politician who has bought into everything that is wrong with Washington? We can't change the system with someone who's never fought the system.

Washington is on the wrong track and I'm going to set it right. The American people know my record. They know I am going to change Washington, because I've done it before. They know I'm going to reform our broken institutions in Washington and on Wall Street because I've done it before. They know I'm going to deliver relief to the middle class, because that's what I've done.

You don't have to hope that things will change when you vote for me. You know things will change, because I have been fighting for change in Washington my whole career. I've been fighting for you my whole life. That's what I'm going to do as President of the United States. Fight for you and put the government back on the side of the people.

Thank you."

Posted by: janiebarrera | October 6, 2008 6:13 PM

pro36-

Please return to whatever hole you crawled out of.

Posted by: dcwsano | October 6, 2008 6:13 PM

Anyone in health care will will tell you Obama's plan is a disaster as far as costs go. In terms of coverage, while McCain plan is estimated to add 30 million people to health insurance, Obama's plan will only add 5 million, at best. And by Obama's plan 35% of insured will pay much higher do than now

Posted by: pro36 | October 6, 2008 6:07 PM

Its not about the plans .Much more important issue that Obama is the muslim communist with acommunist agenda for this great country.Do we need the muslim communist in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 6, 2008 5:56 PM

I have examined both candidates' positions and plans and believe that Obama has a better proposal.

What's really a shame is that the taxpayer picks up the tab for the medical care that the president, vice president, senators, and representatives have who get the best care possible.

However, when it comes to health care, the taxpayer is up the creek without not only the paddle but also the means to acquire one.

Posted by: abby0802 | October 6, 2008 5:47 PM

Voting for McSame is simply Palin stupid.

Posted by: fzelaya1 | October 6, 2008 5:42 PM

It isn't the wealthy who over-use the system, it is the sick. Those with pre-existing conditions and those who are older but not old enough for medicare will either lose coverage or have their insurance payments taxed as income and get only $2,500.00 in tax credits, which is less than one tenth the cost of a policy for someone in their late 50's, even without a pre-esisting condition. The whole point of McCain's plan is to get people to pay more out of pocket for coverage, not to increase number of people coveres.

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center said Obama's plan would expand the ranks of the insured by 34 to 37 million people, compared to a gain of less than 5 million under the McCain plan. Both plans would cost more than $100 billion each year.

Posted by: dcwsano | October 6, 2008 5:37 PM

Excerpt from Steven Landsburg-
see below

4. McCain gets health care right. The reason poor Americans get too little health care is20that rich Am ericans get too much. The reason rich Americans get too much is that they're overinsured, and therefore run to the doctor for minor problems. The reason they're overinsured is that employer-provided health benefits aren't taxed, so employers overprovide them.
It has been clear for decades that the single most effective way to control health care costs is to eliminate the tax break for employer-provided health care. According to one careful study by my colleague Charles Phelps (admittedly several years old, but I'm not sure anything relevant has changed), this single reform could reduce health care costs by 40% with essentially no effect on health care outcomes.
Essential as this reform may be, I'd always assumed it was a political non-starter. I was therefore astonished to learn that it's the essence of McCain's health care reform. (At the same time, he would give each individual $2500, and each family $5000, to use for health care.)
I am astonished that I hadn't heard about this, and particularly astonished that Barack Obama hasn't thrust it in my face with a negative spin. Possibly he has and I just wasn't paying attention. In any case, this is just what the doctor ordered, and I am delighted that McCain has put it on the table.
Obama, by contrast, wants poor people to get more medical care without addressing the problem of overuse by rich people. Where is that extra medical care going to come from? If the answer is "nowhere," then a primary effect of the Obama plan must be=2 0to raise prices, making doctors and hospitals the big beneficiaries.

Posted by: thecannula | October 6, 2008 5:23 PM

The Atlantic

September 18, 2008

An economist explains why he thinks McCain's economic policies make more sense

by Steven Landsburg
(Steven E. Landsburg (born 1954) is an American professor of economics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. From 1989 to 1995, he taught at Colorado State University.)

Betting on John McCain

My whole life I've been mystified by the concept of the "undecided voter." I've never had any problem choosing my candidates and didn't see how anyone else could either. But this year, I've been genuinely on the fence, partly because I haven't been paying close attention, and partly because there seemed ample reason to dislike all of the options.
But over the past few days, as McCain and Obama have ratcheted up their rhetoric over each others' "disastrous" economic policies, I decided to do a little research. Along the way, I had a few surprises about John McCain's voting record, some but not all of them pleasant. Now I don't think I'm undecided anymore.
Here are some of the things that made my decision easy, and some that made it hard:
1. Free trade and immigration are my top issues, and McCain wins on both.
These are my top issues for several reasons. First, trade is the engine of prosperity not just for the United States but also for the poorest of the world's poor. Nothing matters more than that. Second, the instinct to care about the national origin of your trading partner (or employ er, or employee, or landlord, or tenant) is an ugly one, and the instinct to care about the national origin of other people's trading partners—and on that basis to interfere forcibly with other people's voluntary transactions—is even uglier.
Finally, protectionism, like creationism, requires an extraordinary level of willful ignorance. The consensus for free trade among economists is approximately as solid as the consensus for evolution among biologists, and it is a consensus supported by a solid body of both theory and observation. To ignore that consensus betrays a degree of anti-intellectualism that frightens me.
McCain is quite good on this issue, not just in terms of rhetoric (which I've known for a while) but in terms of voting record (which I've just recently researched). Obama, by contrast, promises to be our first explicitly protectionist president since Herbert Hoover. Some intervening presidents (Reagan, Bush I, and to a lesser extent Bush II) have been weak in their commitments to free trade, but none between Hoover and Obama has so explicitly rejected it.
2. McCain is not Bush. This came as a surprise to me. I'd been assuming, in my ill-read, uneducated way, that McCain had been complicit in most of the great travesties of the Bush administration and the execrable Republican Senate. I've learned that's largely untrue. He voted (to my great surprise!) against the prescription drug entitlement, against the Farm Security Bill, against milk subsidies, against Amtrak subsidies, and against highway sub sidies.
Obama, by contrast, is in many ways a continuation of Bush. Like Bush (only far more so ), Obama is fine with tariffs and subsidies. Like Bush, he wants to send jackbooted thugs into every meatpacking plant in America to rid the American workplace of anyone who happens to have been born on the wrong side of an imaginary line. Like Bush, he wants a more progressive tax code. (It is one of the great myths of 21st century that the Bush tax cuts made the tax code less progressive; the opposite is true. If you are in the bottom 38% of taxpayers, you now pay zero income tax—and therefore have an incentive to support any spending bill that comes down the pike.) Like Bush, he wants more regulation, not less.
3. But there's a lot about economics that McCain just doesn't get. This shows up most significantly in his energy policies. Every economist knows that the best way to discourage carbon emissions (or anything else for that matter) is to tax them. But McCain rejects a carbon tax in favor of one slightly inferior policy (cap and trade) and one grossly inferior policy (direct regulation, such as the CAFE standards for fuel efficiency).
In a world of perfect capital markets and perfect information, a cap-and-trade system (provided the government auctions off the permits rather than giving them away) is exactly equivalent to a carbon tax – same effect on everything down to and including the prices of consumer goods. In the real world we live in, it's inferior f or two reasons: First, small firms might find it difficult=2 0to raise the necessary capital to buy a permit; this gives an inappropriate advantage to big firms over small ones. Second, I believe it will be harder (for technical reasons I won't go into here) to calculate the efficient number of cap-and-trade permits than to calculate the efficient per-ton carbon tax. Aside from that, the two policies are equivalent in every way. McCain presumably doesn't get this, or he wouldn't have such a strong preference for cap-and-trade.
Worse, he endorses the CAFE standards, which are just a terrible way to control carbon emissions. While a carbon tax gets incentives right at every decision point, fuel efficiency standards give people no incentive, for example, to bike to work instead of drive (in fact, they flip the incentive in the wrong direction). Worse yet, they concentrate brainpower on improving fuel efficiency when there might be far more effective ways to control carbon emissions; with a tax, all innovations are rewarded.
In his support of CAFE standards over carbon taxes, McCain betrays a serious failure to understand how incentives work. The same problem shows up when he thinks you can simply mandate campaign finance limits, as if people who are competing for control of a $15 trillion economy won't be creative enough to find some way to spend hundreds of millions in the effort, no matter how you write your laws.
4. McCain gets health care right. The reason poor Americans get too little health care is20that rich Am ericans get too much. The reason rich Americans get too much is that they're overinsured, and therefore run to the doctor for minor problems. The reason they're overinsured is that employer-provided health benefits aren't taxed, so employers overprovide them.
It has been clear for decades that the single most effective way to control health care costs is to eliminate the tax break for employer-provided health care. According to one careful study by my colleague Charles Phelps (admittedly several years old, but I'm not sure anything relevant has changed), this single reform could reduce health care costs by 40% with essentially no effect on health care outcomes.
Essential as this reform may be, I'd always assumed it was a political non-starter. I was therefore astonished to learn that it's the essence of McCain's health care reform. (At the same time, he would give each individual $2500, and each family $5000, to use for health care.)
I am astonished that I hadn't heard about this, and particularly astonished that Barack Obama hasn't thrust it in my face with a negative spin. Possibly he has and I just wasn't paying attention. In any case, this is just what the doctor ordered, and I am delighted that McCain has put it on the table.
Obama, by contrast, wants poor people to get more medical care without addressing the problem of overuse by rich people. Where is that extra medical care going to come from? If the answer is "nowhere," then a primary effect of the Obama plan must be=2 0to raise prices, making doctors and hospitals the big beneficiaries.
Of course, there are other things that matter. Foreign and defense policy might matter more than anything, and if I were sure that one or the other candidate were far wiser about these issues, that might be enough to win my vote. But I have no expertise on these matters and no particular reason to trust my own judgment.
I'm sure I'm right about trade and pretty sure I'm right about taxes and health care, but that's because I've thought long and hard about these issues for decades. It seems to me that we ought to be humble about the things we haven't thought hard about, and for me that includes foreign policy. The best I can do is bet that whoever's getting most of the other stuff right is getting this right too.
The bottom line is that I support John McCain. With trepidation.

Posted by: thecannula | October 6, 2008 5:20 PM

Anyone in health care will will tell you McCain's plan is a disaster as far as costs go. In terms of coverage, while Obama's plan is estimated to add 37 million people to health insurance, McCain's plan will only add 5 million, at best. McCain's plan was written by and for a small group of insurance companies.

Posted by: dcwsano | October 6, 2008 5:08 PM

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