Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Kill Employer-Based Health Benefits?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a popular, common-sense expression that summarizes why the McCain health proposal lacks common sense!

One of the strangest proposals from the McCain team is the plan to substitute a $5,000 tax break for employees for the current tax break for employers who offer health benefits.

A majority of the middle class in our nation receives health care benefits through their employer. It’s not always perfect, but it does cover a lot of people at a far more reasonable price then if each of us were to get a plan by ourselves.

But that’s what McCain wants us to do. Without the tax incentive, employers would drop the offering of group health care programs (and the cost to administer them) and each of us would be on our own, trying to buy a very expensive individual policy that would cost far more than the $5,000 tax break.

Maybe the tax break is a good idea for those without employer-based health benefits. But not for those of us who have these benefits.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!!

I bet even Gov. Sarah Palin has that one in her folksy vocabulary!

So, I can’t figure out why this other wise common-sense Governor from Alaska signed onto the McCain health plan disaster.

This plan really will be bad for the Republican base and swing voters – the conservative and middle-of-the-road working and middle class folks who actually work for a living and probably get their health care at work!

Let me count the ways that the McCain plan is bad:
  1. Instead of buying into group coverage with low rates, each person is on their own and the rates will be higher.

  2. Employees that are older or who have pre-existing conditions (e.g., heart problems, cancer, etc.) may not be able to get coverage at all.

  3. Employees lucky enough to get new coverage may be with a new carrier or HMO and therefore have to choose new doctors and specialists instead of the ones who know them and their health issues.

  4. Younger folks who are healthy may opt out of getting coverage.

  5. Those who are financially strapped may not be able to afford coverage.
  6. When the uninsured have untreated symptoms that grow into a serious medical condition, they end up at the Emergency Room, costing more money than if they had preventive care covered by a health plan.
I could go on, but the point is this plan is bad for all workers. And it’s especially bad for the very political base of conservative folks who work for a living that McCain needs to win.

Sen. McCain: Employer-based health care ain’t broke, so don’t try to fix it!

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