Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE
John McCain does not have a healthcare plan to improve the healthcare system. His goal is to eliminate the healthcare entitlement provided by the government for seniors and Corporate America for its employees.
In my view he is not focused on the basic problems with the healthcare system. John McCain is going to leave the control of the healthcare system in the hands of the healthcare insurance industry. He is not going to empower patients to drive the healthcare system by providing appropriate information, education and incentives.
John McCain’s healthcare plan is worse than Barack Obama’s because it is simplistic thinking. He makes the appropriate pronouncements as slogans. However, he simply strengthens the hand of Corporate America and the healthcare insurance industry to the disadvantage of present and future patients. In a search of his healthcare plan for improvement in the healthcare system none exists.
His healthcare plan starts with:
“A Call to Action”
“John McCain believes we can and must provide access to health care for every American. He has proposed a comprehensive vision for achieving that. For too long, our nation’s leaders have talked about reforming health care. Now is the time to act.”
He is saying nothing but the obvious. One can assume he is for universal healthcare when he says “we can and must provide access to health care for every American.” It is important to review his actual words. One then realizes the words lack substance or strategy.
“Americans Are Worried About Health Care Costs. The problems with health care are well known: it is too expensive and 47 million people living in the United States lack health insurance.”
John McCain does not list the problems with the healthcare system. He declares that they are well known. He avoids stating the basic problems or the reasons for the basic problems. Why is it too expensive? Why are so many people uninsured?
John McCain’s Vision for Health Care Reform
“McCain Believes The Key To Health Care Reform Is To Restore Control To The Patients Themselves. We want a system of health care in which everyone can afford and acquire the treatment and preventative care they need. Health care should be available to all and not limited by where you work or how much you make. Families should be in charge of their health care dollars and have more control over care. John McCain Will Reform The Tax Code To Offer More Choices Beyond Employer-Based Health Insurance Coverage. While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance.
I certainly believe that patients should have control of their healthcare dollar. A tax credit of $2500 for low or middle income individuals is not enough to help pay a $6,000 a year healthcare policy. The $5000 tax credit will not help a low income family pay for a $12,000 healthcare policy. What about people at the poverty level or just above the poverty level? How it a tax credit going to help them? How does this solve the abuses of the healthcare insurance industry? Can Moises with $22,000 income afford a $12,000 a year healthcare policy? The answer is obviously no!
Meanwhile the Republican administration (Bush)is methodically destroying America's safety net hospitals. The Republican administration is not funding these critically important county hospitals. The lack funding will not result in an increase in these hospitals efficiency. It will leading to a lack of modernization of safety net hospitals and an inability to provide adequate healthcare to the underprivileged and uninsured.