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SEIU Attacks McCain's Health Care Plan

John McCain is unveiling his health care proposals today in Florida, and is airing a new TV ad on health care in Iowa. But one of the nation's fastest-growing labor unions is also airing ads attacking the plan.

SEIU is airing "Feeling the Pain" in Ohio, and Washington, D.C.:

SEIU is the nation's largest union for health care workers, with at least 1.9 million members across North America. It has endorsed Barack Obama and recently aired a TV ad in Pennsylvania in support of his campaign.

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  April 29, 2008; 2:10 PM ET Ad Watch , John McCain
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Senator McCain's slowly evolving economic policy is just another form of what we've had for the last eight years: give aways to the rich and obstacles to the middle and working class. His health care package is laughable, unless you are the CEO of an insurance company.

Posted by: Elinor | April 29, 2008 9:16 PM

McCain just doesn't get it on economic, kitchen-sink issues, and why should he? The son of a career Navy officer, he went straight into Annapolis and then into the Navy, all the while (except for the stint in Hanoi) enjoying the purest form of socialized medicine available anywhere in this hemisphere except for Cuba, mainly. From the Navy he parachuted straight into marriage with a woman worth tens of millions of dollars, then into the heavens of the U.S. congress (and its gold-plated health-care system for members; in the likely event that he's not using V.A. hospitals for his needs, either). Like George W. Bush, he has NEVER, EVER had to sit down and think "oh my God, our premium just went up $300 a month, what are we going to do?" or worse "oh my God, I can't get any insurance 'cause my high blood pressure is on file in that medical information-sharing center that the health insurance companies jointly operate" (do most people know about that?). Instead we get some more g-d d--ned free-market idolatry from the House of Reagan. But within ten years we'll have a government-involved health care system to replace the current accidental mess, I'm sure of that. It's gotten to the tipping point, when too many people are hurting or terrified, for any other result.

Posted by: Enemy of Crime | April 30, 2008 12:15 AM

Don't forget, we have the most expensive health care system that the world has ever seen and many of the health outcomes for the middle class and poor rank down their with third world countries. Someone is getting good health care but it isnt the average working American. The next time a politician brings up patriotism, ask him if he supports the people that manufacture the goods, do the jobs that keep industry humming and fight and die in the wars that a priveledged few deem neccessary or is his patriotism reserved for flags, the Pledge of Allegiance and lapel pins.

Posted by: Erv Levings | April 30, 2008 9:21 AM

What does Health care mean to me? It means a person should be able to walk(or carried) into a clinic or Hospital and obtain full service without deductibles or charge of any kind....no cherry picking of what is covered and what is not. This government of ours could provide this kind of coverage if it would down-size and priortize this country's most needed services. I feel the HMOs need to all be shut down and the CEOs of those insurance companies should be arrested and tried for murder. The least thing this government should do is do away with taxes for those making less then $80,000 or allow a $4,000.00 deduction for health care, interest paid on one's mortgage and interest paid on credit cards(or freeze the credit card interest rate of the bank at 07%) for those using either the short or long income tax form. Inflation has taken a big bite on what the dollar is worth, congress of course knows this, and that's why they have no problem giving themselves a raise.( with a 30% approval rating) who are they kidding? Any raise given should only be allowed at election time and only given if approved by the voter...

Posted by: Donald | April 30, 2008 9:58 AM

Would you buy a used car from John McCain?

Posted by: richardolveda | April 30, 2008 10:59 AM

Healthcare is certainly a problem, but what has the government ever run that is efficient. Does the FFA or Commerce Department ring a bell? Certainly getting rid of HMO's is a possibilty, but replacing them with the US government? It would only get worse? My doctor has 3 clerks in his office for every doctor, just to the paper work anbd referrals.
We could save a lot of money if the first $1000 or $1500 was paid out of our pockets, was tax deductible, and we could catistrophic coverage. This could eliminate 85 to 90% of the paper work. Having to pay the first $1000 or $1500 would allow us to determine what test and services we want.

Posted by: RichardP | April 30, 2008 12:19 PM

My husband is a retired member of SEIU. I can't get it that people are so gullable to think that the presidential candidates will be able to do what they "promise", and not have answer to congress. They are the ones in control not the president. My parents were immigrants in the early 1900's he had no education but always told me to vote for the person, not the party. It sure would eliminate a lot of the TV stuff.

Posted by: BC | April 30, 2008 12:47 PM

Why would anyone trust the government to put a good, efficient, cost effective plan together? Have you seen the mess they have made of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid? Those programs will soon go broke or break the backs of every taxpayer. How about that War on Poverty launched in the mid 60's that hasn't made a dent in the lives of the poor. but has add huge numbers of poverty pimps to the government payroll? Does anyone think Universal health care will do anything but grow an enormous, bloated bureaucracy? Health Care savings accounts make a lot of sense. When it's your own money your spending...you take better care of your health, ask before you buy an expensive treatment that you may or may not need ( that would be novel...actually caring about the cost of care) and don't run to the emergency room, when a trip to your doctor will do. Also you can accumulate money in your HSA over the years of good health, that will be there when you are older and need more prescriptions/help. Let's stop the knee jerk response that we are all dependent on government for a good life. McCain's plan is a great idea!

Posted by: patl | April 30, 2008 12:51 PM

PBS ran a marvelous program on universal health care in 6 different countries several weeks ago. It should be mandatory viewing by every American, especially those middleclass and poor in our country.

The three most important qualifictions for total health coverage were:

1. Must cover everyone.
2. Every one is obligated to buy the insurance with those unable to afford it being purchased for them by the Government. No opting out. Extra insurance may be purchased by the wealthy if they so choose.
3. The government establishes payments to doctors and sets the amount drug companies can charge for drugs.

This is how it is handled even in Swizterland whose people are ndependent like us.

McCain has never known what it is to be without excellent health care (excluding his POW years in Vietnam). Born into a Navy family, voted into the House of Representaties and then the Senate, married to a multi-millionaire, he has never lacked for platinum health insurance. A market-based health system has never been a part of his experience so how can he even begin to contend it is the answer for our horrendous health care problem.

Posted by: Janet Morrison | April 30, 2008 1:12 PM

Poor folks & those of us with preexisting conditions would be hit the worst w/McCain's plan. I can't afford to put money into a Health Savings plan & I already have a high deductible on my current employer-provided one. 10 years ago, all my medical expenses were paid by the company. Today, I have a high deductible & pay $300+ a month. My salary has not caught up with inflation & healthcare expenses. When I do the math, I make less today than I did 5 years ago, even though my salary is higher. Why is it that a rich nation like ours is willing to allow its people to pay the highest fees in the world and yet, in many respects, our health care ranks among 3rd world countries? The system is already broken; it's time to get it working again.

Posted by: C2 | April 30, 2008 1:46 PM

There is an obvious improvement for any problem; the one some powerful interest group opposes! I give you Elementary Education. Your elected representatives AND mine willingly barter our childrens quality education for Union Support!

Malpractice suits and Medical Tort Reform could reduce the Healthcare costs by 25%.
Doctors order tests to cover their Butts.
This saturates the Hospital Resources and
increases cost. Remember John Ritter? His relatives are sueing his Doctors months after his death, claiming they didn't do the right testing to diagnose his problem.
Yes, improvements are obvious; they are the ones opposed by the powerful interest groups!

Posted by: PhillupSpace | April 30, 2008 1:49 PM

There is no free-market in health care. It's a cash cow for insurance companies that are designed to make money by NOT providing services to people in need. It's also a cash cow for Doctors and hospitals who keep raising fees because there is NO free market. And now Congress is getting their share of the funds that are spresd around by the pharma and health care lobbies.

Health accounts are for people making GOOD money; not the poor, lower middle classes, elderly or indigent. Taking a tax credit is only for those who earn enough to pay suficient taxes to apply for a credit. Most seniors on Medicare DO NOT qualify.

McCain's downfall as a candidate will result from his unbelievable lack of knowledge and understanding of how most people are impacted by the outrageous costs associated with health care.

Insurance companies have made a horrid practice of high premiums, prior conditions, co-pays, deductibles, denial of service, rejection, ineligibility and so forth. Basic drugs are running between $4 and $20 PER PILL to take retirees into the donut hole where they continue to pay premiums and get no service. They also pay manufacturer's retail prices for drugs that are much cheaper around the world.

Why did Bush and Congress screw the public like this???

The free market that McCain wants is based on the used car sales philosophy. He would have us pay MSRP for services and drugs but go out of state to seek cheaper rates only to take a $5000 tax credit---IT will not work for middle America. It will only work for the rich or well-endowed earners like McCain, Congress and other high-paid earners.

McCain is so out of touch with the people he wants to lead that it's pitiful. He's NOT the person to make improvements in health care. By default, thinking people with limited resources will have to go for Hillary. She's the least repugnant of three ungodly candidates.

McCain's approach sadly shows his age and approaching senility. He needs to get better advice and not continue the road of free-market destruction so stupidly pushed by the Bushman as a moneymaker for the rich.

Where do we find these people? Sometimes Americans can be awfully stupid!

Posted by: NoFree Markets | April 30, 2008 9:42 PM

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