THE POLITICS OF HEALTHCARE…. John McCain’s acceptance speech last night was strikingly thin on substance, but there was a portion, about halfway through, in which the Republican nominee ran through a handful of policy issues. At one point, he told the audience:
“My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. [Barack Obama’s] plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government-run health care system where a bureaucrat… (AUDIENCE BOOS)… where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.”
There are only two sentences in this paragraph, and they’re both completely wrong. Ezra tackled the second sentence…
I should say, of course, that not only isn’t this true, but it’s nonsensical. Where exactly is the bureaucrat supposed to stand? In the waiting room? Outside your car? Obama’s health care plan is basically a way to subsidize private insurance. There’s a regulator involved, but he has nothing to do with you or your doctor. Instead, he stands behind your insurer, tapping his foot, and warning against denying you coverage on grounds of ill health or bad luck.
That said, here’s the question I’d love to see John McCain asked: “Senator McCain, can you describe how Senator Obama’s health care plan works?” And if he gets it wrong, I’d like to see the moderator correct him and ask what he thinks of the actual plan…. I’d bet good money, and a fair amount of it, that there’s no way he could describe it.
…and Jonathan Cohn tackled the first.
[H]is suggestion that it would “make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance” is just plain wrong. As numerous experts have noted, its primary effect will be to move people out of employer-sponsored insurance and into the individual market, where the benefits are less comprehensive and insurers refuse coverage to anybody with pre-exsiting medical conditions.
I get the distinct impression that John McCain doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he’s talking about on healthcare. Literally, not a clue.
Like Ezra, I’d love to see a in-depth discussion with McCain on healthcare policy. Just once. Please?