Specifics on McCain Health Care Reform Proposal

In this morning's Wall Street Journal, I explain how John McCain's proposed health care reforms are more sweeping  than those changes offered by either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Comments (14)

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  1. David Engel says:

    I would explain the problem of the current tax system with respect to healthcare as this:

    (1) We have created a healthcare system where it is more cost effective to pay $130 in health insurance than $100 in medical bills. That creates a perverse incentive to pay even the smallest of medical bills through third parties. Sen. McCain’s proposal eliminates this perverse incentive that inflates administrative costs.

    (2) We have created a tax system where those with employer subsidized insurance receive substantial tax benefits and those with no employer subsidized insurance receive no tax benefits. Sen. McCain’s proposal eliminates this unequal treatment.


    (1) Presumably, Sen. McCain’s change will reduce the earned income credit (and other AGI limited credits) by raising adjusted gross income. This needs to be addressed. (Not that I agree with the EIC which subsidizes unmarried families at the expense of married families but the effect needs to be addressed as does the effect on the child tax credit and education credits) Am I correct that those with AGI limited credits will have their credits reduced as a result of the change?

    (2) A concern I have is that if the credit is $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 fo families, then two unmarried people cohabitating with children will receive a larger credit than married couples.

  2. Ben Sasse says:

    Really tightly argued. Impressive piece.

  3. Steven Bassett says:

    Congratulations on a very well articulated piece in today’s WSJ. Folks are bound to get the message if we keep at it.

  4. David Merritt says:

    Great piece in today’s Journal.

  5. Sidney Godfarb says:

    I read your editorial in the WSJ today. I agree with your arguments.

  6. John Thomson says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your op-ed in today's WSJ and congratulate you on pointing out an important area where our candidate is a solid, positive radical!

    It's a shame he can't add more to the plus side, but issues like campaign finance, immigration and — once again! — taxes seem to confuse him.

    Nevertheless, he makes pretty good sense on energy and, of course, national security … and we must pray he trounces the abominable opposition.

  7. Maria Folsom says:

    What’s all this talk about tax credits and employer-subsidized insurance and married v. non-married and on and on? What ever happened to Liberty? Free market, anyone? Why is Goodman even talking about fixing an immoral and broken system?

  8. Carl Schroeder says:

    It seems that everybody who writes on this issue doesn’t pay for their own health insurance – I do. Try your plan out on me. I pay $22,000 a year in premium on two plans, one for me individually (Illinois ICHP due to underwriting problems) and one for my wife and two children. We are both 60. I am self employed by my C corp. and semi-retired. The plans are not gold plated and have 5M and 7.5M deductibles. We go out of pocket at least 5M a year. Right now I pay the $22,000 with pretax dollars and this is what it costs to insure us.

    Under your plan I will have to take the $22,000 as ordinary income paying a tax of at least $8,866. Sure we get the 5M credit, but now it costs us $25,866 for health insurance. Don’t you think this is going in the wrong direction?

  9. John Goodman says:

    Interesting. You would actually lose as a result of the tax change alone. However, the reason is because of the outrageously high premium you are paying to the state’s risk pool. Another McCain proposal may be of direct benefit to you. He wants to put additional funds into the system to lower the premiums for people like yourself.

  10. Ed Crane says:

    John – Nice piece in the Journal.

  11. Matt says:

    Did you see the Bunk study stating 2/3 of doctors in America want National Health Care. The doctors who did this study also conducted one in 2002 and found that the majority of doctors did not want national health care, the problem with this is that the 2 question surveys drastically differ in there 2nd question. I found this article, 60% of Physicians Surveyed Oppose Switching to a National Health Care Plan, It's worth a read.

  12. Thomas Policelli says:

    I enjoyed your piece in the WSJ last week. It will be interesting to see A) if concrete policy proposals will become more a part of this campaign, and B) if voters look at the proposals to rediscover their inner Reagan or their inner FDR. Both were charismatic, and they probably would have enjoyed having a drink together. But their outlooks were just a wee bit different.

  13. John Kozy says:

    Republican advisers to John McCain are making their disdain for ordinary people known to the entire world. Phil Gramm, John McCain’s former top economic adviser, has said that as far as he’s concerned, regular folks can go straight to hell. When a colleague argued that a change to Social Security would harm 80-year-old retirees, Gramm replied, “Most people don’t have the luxury of living to be 80 years old, so it’s hard for me to feel sorry for them.” And more recently, he has called the American people whiners and said that current economic conditions are only a mental recession. Now John Goodman (DMN July 31, 2008), president of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and a health policy adviser for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, has said the heart of the health cost problem is the overuse of medical services by people who, if they paid with their own money, might decide against that trip to the doctor and that “If a mother wakes up in the middle of the night with a sick child, we want her to think about the cost of the emergency room visit.” Mr. Gramm doesn’t care what happens to the elderly and Mr. Goodman wants mothers to put cost before the welfare of their children. I don’t know how America produces such callous people, but I do know that they are not good-men.

    What’s worse, neither has a lick of data on which to base his claims. Their is no reliable data that shows that the economy is really doing well in spite of how it appears to ordinary Americans, and Mr. Goodman can site no data to support his claim that the heart of the health cost problem is the overuse of medical services. No doctor or hospital, as far as I have been able to discover, keeps count of what they consider “unnecessary” visits to their facilities. So these guys are also either not smart or downright fabricators.

    If Mr. McCain has selected them as top advisers, it will take more than God’s blessing to save this nation if he is elected.

  14. Vero says:

    corey towson lol your a moron caandian health care ya may be nice and all but those affect sure are not.. and yes i have family tree in canada.. they despise it alot of public despise if.. but lemme guess your a POS that has a shitty job makes small cash and like gettin free shit? ok so ya for you i see how it can be nice