John McCain Describes His Health Plan; In Reality A Non Health Plan
Posted Oct 02 2008 3:15pm
Stanley Feld M.D., FACP,MACE
Politicians give me a headache. John McCain revealed his healthcare plan last week. His healthcare plan is just as poor as Hillary Clinton’s and Barach Obama’s. He goes further than President Bush in shifting the healthcare premium payment from the employer to the employee. This action is just what the large corporations want and the employees don’t want.
“Mr. McCain’s health care plan would shift the emphasis from insurance provided by employers to insurance bought by individuals, to foster competition and drive down prices. To do so he is calling for eliminating the tax breaks that currently encourage employers to provide health insurance for their workers, and replacing them with $5,000 tax credits for families to buy their own insurance.”
Five thousand dollars in tax credits will not help people who can not afford the average $12,000 healthcare insurance premiums for a family of four.
Businesses have been trying for years to relieve itself of the obligation to provide healthcare insurance to employees. The defects in the HSA are clear from my last blog entry. HSA’s will do little to Repair The Healthcare System. The healthcare insurance industry still controls and captures the healthcare dollars. It still sets the premiums for healthcare coverage.
“Mr. McCain had previously described aspects of his health care plan but on Tuesday offered new details on how to cover people with existing health problems, in a nod to the growing concerns about the difficulties that many sick, older and low-income people have getting insurance. ”
Political expediency is the name of the game. It does not matter what the facts are or if the plan will be effective. However, if the facts of any problem are ignored, problems can not be solved. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a clue regarding the problems in the healthcare system. Neither has presented any viable solutions.
“Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Senator John Edwards, recently pointed out that both she and Mr. McCain could be left uncovered by Mr. McCain’s plan because she has cancer and he has had melanoma. Stung by such criticism, Mr. McCain is trying to develop a way to cover people with health problems while still taking a generally market-based approach to solving the health care crisis.”
“I’ll work tirelessly to address the problem,” Mr. McCain said in a speech here at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. “But I won’t create another entitlement program that Washington will let get out of control. I won’t do it. Nor will I saddle states with another unfunded mandate.”
McCain is pandering to conservatives who see red at the word entitlement. He is also pandering to the healthcare insurance industry and its executives’ multimillion dollar salaries. His plan will preserve the healthcare insurance industry’s dominance over its $150 billion dollar waste.
These words have no meaning. Presently people with insurance do not have adequate and affordable insurance coverage. Out of pocket expenses increase yearly. People without insurance can not afford the restrictions on the policies they could buy if they were eligible.
“ Mr. McCain’s speech here implicitly acknowledged some of the shortcomings of his free-market approach. But rather than force insurers to stop cherry-picking the healthiest — and least expensive — patients, Mr. McCain proposed that the federal government work with states to cover those who cannot find insurance on the open market. With federal financial assistance, his plan would encourage states to create high-risk pools that would contract with insurers to cover consumers who have been rejected on the open market."
Mr. McCain does not seem to know that high risk pools have been created and are failing. He might have a between the lines agenda in opposition to consumers needs
This is an interesting admission. The reality is he does not have a healthcare plan that will solve any of the healthcare system’s problems.
" Some health care experts question whether those tax credits would offer enough money to pay for new health insurance plans. The average cost of an employer-funded insurance plan is $12,106 for a family, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy group. Paul B. Ginsburg, the president of the Center for Studying Health System Change."
Enough said about the McCain healthcare plan. It is a non healthcare plan to the advantage of the secondary stakeholders and to the detriment of patients.
It is clear to me that we can not depend on our presidential candidates for help. We are going to have to organize and demand the necessary reform essential to eliminate the dysfunction in the healthcare system.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.