Republicans in Congress dusted off John McCain's health care proposal from the 2008 campaign and reintroduced it at a press conference in Washington today. The proposal, which serves as their counter to President Obama's plan for health care reform, replaces the coverage people have with an insufficient tax subsidy that doesn't even cover half of the average family's health care premiums.
From Think Progress:
The plan privatizes the health care system without controlling health care spending. Employers will react to the elimination of the tax exclusion by dropping some Americans from their employer-sponsored health plans and the Republicans build an inadequate safety net to catch the newly uninsured. Americans will have the option of purchasing coverage in the new State Health Insurance Exchanges, should the state choose to establish it. But here, the same problems that plagued McCain's health care plan are also evident in this proposal. The Republicans protect private health insurer's monopoly over coverage, but provide no safety net or affordability measures
Not only does the GOP plan dismantle the employer-based system that millions of Americans rely on, it also fails to address the problem of insurance companies charging higher prices based on sex, age, occupation, or medical condition - the same discriminatory practices that are pricing millions of Americans out of insurance currently.
The bottom line: this "new" GOP proposal is a blueprint for more of the same failed tactics that spiraled us into a health care crisis in the first place. It focuses on protecting profits when we should be focused on helping sick people get better.
Americans voted down this flawed approach to health care last year. Giving it a new name and reintroducing it again in 2009 is an insult to the millions of Americans who desperately need a change in the way we provide health care.