Business to McCain: No Thanks
The New York Times reported this morning that business groups are coming out against John McCain's health care plan. According to the Times:
The officials, with organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Business, predicted in recent interviews that the McCain plan, which eliminates the exclusion of health benefits from income taxes, would accelerate the erosion of employer-sponsored health insurance and do little to reduce the number of uninsured from 45 million.
When I'm on the same side of an argument as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, you know we're talking about a really bad plan. Not only would the McCain plain function as a huge tax increase on middle class families, but the McCain campaign conceded this week that McCain's plan would also require cutting Medicare and Medicaid more than a trillion dollars. Where exactly would they cut? The McCain camp wouldn't say.
Such cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are either entirely fanciful (in which case McCain's plan would explode the deficit even more), or they would be devastating. The Center for American Progress says:
To put this into perspective, the cut [to Medicare under McCain's plan] in 2012 would be equal to the entire amount that Medicare spends on nursing home care, or hospital outpatient services, or low-income subsides for the Medicare drug benefit.
McCain’s deep and unsustainable program cuts would threaten health care coverage for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and raise the cost of insurance for everyone else. These blows would come as Americans of all incomes are facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
On a more local note, I know I'm a bit behind, but I just saw this despicable ad targeting Democratic House candidates John Carney and Nancy Garland. The first thought that occurred to me -- and perhaps to anyone else who was in Ohio in 2004 -- is that the Republicans seem to be suggesting that Carney and Garland are terrorists. Beyond that, the sheer hypocricy of this ad from a party running candidates like career lobbyist Steve Stivers (who lobbied for banks, not -- like Garland -- for physical therapists) and Michael Crites (who boasts on his website of -- gasp! -- acting as a lawyer and defending some unpleasant clients) is just incredible. Maybe Carney or Garland will respond with my favorite tactic of this election cycle: the Al Franken strategy.