Senator McCain’s Healthcare Plan

    While Congress debates the economic rescue plan, the presidential candidates are looking to remind Americans that healthcare is another pocketbook issue they can’t afford to ignore.

    While Congress debates the economic rescue plan, the presidential candidates are looking to remind Americans that healthcare is another pocketbook issue they can’t afford to ignore.

    This kicks off WHYY’s analysis of the election-year health care proposals. Our coverage begins today with Senator John McCain’s plan. From the health and science desk, Taunya English reports.

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    More special coverage on health, science and the elections.

    Taunya’s report on Senator Obama’s healthcare plan

     

    Transcript:
    The senator’s plan gives Americans a little more help to buy health insurance.

    Senior policy advisor Doug Holtz-Eakin says traditional health insurance subsidies have favored larger companies and people who buy their health insurance at work.

    Holtz-Eakin: Senator McCain is trying to push the system into the hands of American families, give them five thousand dollars per family to get private health insurance, and then really force insurers to compete and deliver high quality products to those families for their monies.

    Under the McCain plan, individuals would get a $2,500 tax credit. Families would have $5,000 to shop for health insurance.

    The campaign expects most people will simply hold on to their regular employer-based health plans. But Holtz-Eakin says the tax credit makes insurance more affordable for unemployed people and others outside the system.

    He says McCain’s policies will create more options and knock down barriers to competition.

    Holtz-Eakin: One of the problems is that we have state-by-state insurance markets, in some cases those very small states, Rhode Island and the like, in effect have no real competition. There’s one or two large insurers that have locked up the market and you are stuck with whatever they provide you.

    By contrast Holtz-Eakin says Senator Obama’s health-insurance expansion plan relies on the creation of another public program, similar to Medicare.

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