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- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
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- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
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- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
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SNL Gets McCain Health Care Proposal Right
During Saturday Night Live's parody of the vice presidential debate, Tina Fey as Governor Palin responded to the question on Senator McCain's health care propoosal by saying she was going to ignore it.
Unfortunately, Ms. Fey's response is as accurate as it is funny. According to a recent Commonwealth Fund analysis of the presidential candidates' health care proposals, Senator McCain's proposal ignores some of the biggest health care problems of the day. The McCain proposal does not address the growing number of uninsured, the amount that people with and without insurance must pay for their health care, and concerns about the quality of care that we receive.
Ten years from now, if the McCain tax credit proposal gets enacted, the number of uninsured will be reduced by just 2 million out of a projected 66.8 million uninsured. On the other hand, Commonwealth estimates that the proposed Obama plan, which builds on the current employer-based system, would reduce the number of uninsured by 33.9 million in that year.
Because the McCain proposal doesn't include a minimum floor for benefits to be covered and limits on out of pocket costs, people buying insurance on the individual market could face a wide variation in their premiums, benefits covered, and out-of-pocket expenses. In contrast, the Obama plan provides that the public and private insurance have benefits and cost structure similar to the insurance available to members of Congress. It also includes includes premium subsidies on a sliding-scale, though the income levels have not be specified.
While the McCain proposal has a goal to improve quality and efficiency in health care, his private market initiative actually includes less oversight of private insurance plans than currently exists. The Obama proposal, on the other hand, would allow for innovations in quality and efficiency through existing public programs, through the new public plan he proposes, and through the insurance exchange through which private insurance may be bought.
So, Tina Fey was not far off the mark when she said, as Governor Palin, that she was going to ignore the question of health care. Senator McCain's health care proposal ignores existing health care problems in order to adhere to and promote the market-based approach he favors for all issues.
The Commonwealth Fund, The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals: Choices For America; http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_i...