3-24-08, 12:28 pm
As the health care crisis has worsened over the last seven years with about 47 million people now going without health care coverage, about half of all bankruptcies resulting from huge medical bills, and thousands dying each year due to the lack of coverage (the Urban Institute estimates 22,000 deaths in 2006), American working families are repeatedly citing health care as among their top concerns this election cycle.
Lame duck George W. Bush did nothing to alleviate the problem. He offered no plan to change course on health care. And John McCain is following in his footsteps.
McCain understands the political problem associated with appearing to say nothing about the crisis, so he has offered what he is calling a plan.
There are basically two parts to John McCain's plan. First he would tax the health car benefits you receive as part of your income. Second, he would offer a tiny tax credit that would cover only a portion of the premium working families without insurance would have to pay to get it.
No effort to control skyrocketing insurance premium costs or out-of-control drug costs. No serious push to add people to health insurance rolls. No additional aid to low-income working families.
This is a tax plan pure and simple. According to the AFL-CIO, it is a trillion dollar tax plan that would cover no more working families than now.
Of course it is likely that McCain's ties to Washington lobbyists like Thomas Loeffler, a top strategist in his campaign, who also represents PhRMA, the country's biggest drug industry lobby, has something to do with his refusal to make a workable system that provides real, affordable care.
Working families simply can't afford four more years of a Bush-type plan to do nothing to solve this growing crisis.