Studying the Candidates' Health Care Plans (Remember Those?)
By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 16, 2008
Kevin Sack of The New York Times writes in The Caucus:
Senator John McCain’s top domestic policy adviser, former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, recently said in a conference call with reporters that Mr. McCain’s health care proposal would “put 25 to 30 million individuals out of the ranks of the uninsured, into the ranks of the insured.” In an article released Tuesday, a panel of prominent health economists concludes that Mr. Holtz-Eakin’s projection is off by, well, 25 to 30 million.
NYT op-ed columnist Robert Herbert has more on the critique of the McCain health plan, which was published today on the website of the journal Health Affairs. The journal also published a critique of Sen. Barack Obama’s plan. (Is it odd that one of the authors is an unpaid adviser to the McCain campaign?)
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal gives an overview of the costs of both health care plans provided by the Tax Policy Center.
“Sen. Obama’s plan would be costly, the center concluded: $1.6 trillion over 10 years. Sen. McCain’s would cost nearly as much: $1.3 trillion over the same span. The center doesn’t give either campaign credit for initiatives to reduce the cost of health care,” writes Laura Meckler.
But the Tax Policy Center also predicts, adds Meckler, “that the Obama plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 18 million people in the first year and by 34 million in 10 years,” while the McCain plan would see an initial net increase of 1 million and in future years “perhaps reach five million [newly insured Americans] before dropping again.”
And this WSJ post includes a quick overview of all studies mentioned.
Update: A cornerstone of McCain’s health plan includes moving families into the open health insurance marketplace. But as Jonathan Cohn points out, finding a carrier is no easy task if you’ve had any kind of medical history, including a previous c-section or even an irregular period (hat-tip: Feministing). Also see Cohn’s analysis at The Plank on the studies in Health Affairs .
McCain recently responded to a questionnaire by Research!America that answers 14 questions about his views on health research. It’s an interesting accompaniment to his recent plan on health care. Obama’s campaign’s answers to the questionnaire are available as well.
Your Candidates-Your Health