The McCain Health Plan, a Disaster for Wisconsin

The Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) released a new report today which shows that Senator John McCain’€™s proposed health care plan would threaten the employer-based health benefits of 3.3 million people in Wisconsin. To make matters even worse, his plan could cause as many as 415,000 Wisconsinites to actually lose their health care coverage. These findings were consistent with the analysis that the Economic Policy Institute has done on the proposed McCain plan.

The CAPAF study is being released this week as part of a coordinated effort by Change to Win, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), One Wisconsin Now, Citizen Action Wisconsin, and Health Care for America Now (HCAN) to educate voters in Wisconsin about the impact of the McCain health care plan on millions of families already struggling under the combined impact of the banking and health care crises.

Although John McCain often rails against taxes, his health care plan would create a new one on working families by making employer-provided health benefits part of their taxable income. Not only would the plan serve as a disincentive for employers to provide health insurance, but the study also found that it would raise taxes on millions of Wisconsin families. A typical Wisconsin family could pay almost $1,500 more in taxes by 2013 if McCain imposes both income and payroll taxes on their health coverage.

McCain’€™s plan would especially put people with serious preexisting conditions at particularly high risk. Some 2 million non-elderly people in Wisconsin that are suffering with diseases like cancer could lose their employer sponsored coverage and be forced to fend for themselves. In this scheme, insurance companies would also be free to ‘€œcherry pick’€ only those individuals that don’€™t have such costly health conditions.

There are approximately 490,000 uninsured people in Wisconsin and John McCain’€™s plan would absolutely nothing to address those very serious needs. He has been very clear that he does not even seek to cover all Americans, saying, ‘€œthe problem is not that most Americans lack adequate health insurance.’€ Nearly 500,000 people in Wisconsin would surely beg to differ but McCain’€™s plan all but ignores them entirely.

John McCain’€™s health care plan would essentially de-regulate the health insurance industry, just like his past support of de-regulating the financial services industry. We can now see the disaster that those efforts have brought to our entire economy and we certainly don’€™t need to apply that failed model to the health care of our citizens.

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