Thursday, October 9, 2008

$5000 - a drop in the bucket for healthcare

Under current law, the health insurance benefits provided by your employer are exempt from taxes. Under Sen. McCain’s health insurance plan, this exemption would be eliminated and instead families would receive a $5000 tax credit to purchase health insurance. This tax credit would NOT go to individuals - but directly to the health insurance provider. Given that the average annual cost of health insurance for a family of four is $12,000 that is still a hefty price tag for consumers. Add to that the fact that many employers are likely to stop offering coverage, and the price on health insurance could skyrocket (since employees generally pay less than individuals because they are purchasing as part of a pool). And if you are old, unhealthy, or have a pre-existing condition – forget about it. The Urban Insitute reports that the McCain plan would make insurance coverage less accessible and affordable for those with high health care needs. Although the plan would increase coverage among the currently uninsured, it would reduce the number already covered by employers, leaving about the same number of people uninsured. Even worse, since the value of the credit doesn’t increase witph time, it is likely the number of uninsured will start to climb dramatically after 5 years.

By comparison, Senator Obama’s plan would provide government subsidies to allow low-income workers to obtain health insurance. The Urban Institute anticipates Obama’s plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 18 million in 2009 and by 34 million in 2018. There are currently 45 million Americans without health insurance, according to the Census Bureau.

Although Obama would not get to "universal coverage" - it would take a step in the right direction.


Kate Coveny Hood said...

Hey - so sorry to do this in your comments - particularly for such a NON frivolous post... But I couldn't find an e-mail for you on your site.

I'm doing a Bee Gee Bags ( giveaway this week, and it occurred to me that people who bid on my Nie Nie auctions might be interested. This time - anyone can comment to win a FREE bag.

Here is my first post about Bee Gee bags:, and here is my post on the giveaway:

Please comment on the giveaway post - you just might win!

I'd like to do more of these as a thank you to the people who read my rambling posts - maybe monthly. But I'll want to approach other really talented designers (ones who don't know me). If I can tell them I got over 100 comments on this giveaway - then I won't feel like a big dork about it!

And really - I want to get as much exposure for the new (to me) indie designer as I can. I just think she's fabulous.

If you do decide to comment, good luck! (and sorry again for hijacking your comments!)


Kate Coveny Hood said...

So I thought I should leave a real comment as well!

This is a great breakdown of the facts. I think that people often get a little lost (i.e. bored) during debates and miss some of the important points. How do I know this? Not saying... Anyway - I think that you should write a "recap" like this for every debate and post it for the people who have a hard time keeping up with fast paced political debates (but not me of course).

Amy W said...

You know I have to offer a friendly(and seriously, I mean friendly, I really don't want to make anyone mad...) discussion to this.

I read on Obama's site that he plans to pay for his plan through ending the Bush tax breaks on those earning more than $250,000 and squeezing more efficiency out of the health care system. But he also wants to invest $50 billion toward adoption of electronic medical records. He also wants to require hospitals and providers to publicly report measures of health care costs and quality. Having worked in healthcare for 10 years, this would be a huge cost that would most likely be pushed down to the employees through salary cuts and benefit cuts.

Would this mean higher taxes on employers?

My employer right now covers 100% of my health coverage. We got Ray and the girls covered with pre-existing conditions (asthma with both girls) on our own through BCBS for $400 a month with really good coverage.