Friday, May 02, 2008

Free for all market

I’m probably getting this wrong, but it seems like the Republicans, in their haste to strike out and set up their own policy on health care, are actually undermining the shaky, crappy system we have now. I believe I have read that John McCain’s proposal ends the employer based tax deduction for employer based plans and instead offers a tax credit to everyone – $2500 for individuals or $5000 for families – to buy their own health care coverage. That’s fine as far as it goes, but employer based health care plans offer health insurance companies pools of healthy people (they are working, after all) to insure. Even the spouses and children tend to be healthy (they live in the United States and are not destitute, since mom and/or dad are working). It seems likely to me that if individuals or families get the tax credits, employers will stop offering health insurance to their employees, letting the employee take on the burden of finding a health insurance plan to use the tax credit with. I’ve criticized the proposals of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama because I believe we need a single payer health care plan, because I believe we need to dismantle the health insurance industry. I didn’t think the Republicans would be the ones to take the first steps to actually do that.

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