McCain’s Health Care Plan: The Good and Bad

Presidential candidate John McCain introduced his healthcare plan today. It has some aspects that are an improvement of the current system, while there are some features that are bad.

First, the good:

The plan would end the tax incentives provided to businesses for providing healthcare to employees, and transfer that incentive to individuals for owning health care.

This will begin the process of making health care an individual responsibility, not a responsibility of the employer.

He also would allow insurance policies to be sold across the state lines

The back door way of dealing with state mandates for minimum insurance coverage. This will allow health care consumers to purchase insurance policies a la carte with the choice of services they want.

McCain’s plan also offers veterans an opportunity to seek government financed health care outside of the Veterans Administration system, by giving them the financing options to seek their own healthcare coverage.

Hopefully, this will turn into a voucher program where veterans are given vouchers to purchase private health insurance plans and we can kill the Veterans Administration.

Now the bad:

McCain would offer a $2,500 refundable tax credit to individuals who have health insurance, and $5,000 to families.

A welfare program, pure and simple. If these tax credits were non-refundable, I would not have a problem with them.

Also, not reported in the linked article, but McCain also called for action against obesity and smoking. While McCain did not specifically outline nanny state measures on both fronts, it’s a good bet they’re coming.

All in all, it could have been a worse plan McCain could have outlined than was actually announced. It is also much better than the alternatives coming out from the Democrats. However, it is by no means a perfect plan, but one that is certainly interesting.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
  • UCrawford

    Wow…veterans get to shop for their own health care options. I’m not sure whether that’s great or laughable. On the one hand, the McCain plan is essentially admitting that the V.A. system (pure socialized medicine) is incapable of providing the services veterans need, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s dealt with the V.A. or Tri-Care. The laughable part is that his solution is to try and outsource the highest risk population possible (soldiers, who are currently in the middle of a shooting war) to the private sector with the expectation that the government will fund it. Insurance companies love to offer competitive, inexpensive rates to population groups who work in ultra-high risk job, coupled with extensive histories of chronic health problems or catastrophic disabilities.

    Oh yeah, that’s going to work out well…because private companies never gouge government programs and the government is obviously on top of things when it comes to accountability with how they spend their money. And you know the candidate has really thought it through when they refuse to even provide cost estimates.


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