Ten things you should know about John McCains' Health Care Plan

Ten things you should know about John McCains' Health Care Plan
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1. McCain will tax your health care benefits at work

McCain's health care plan will make people pay income taxes on the value of their health care benefits at work. So if your employer pays $10,000 a year for your health insurance, you will start having to pay taxes on that $10,000, just like you do on your wages or salary.

2. And give you a tax credit for less than five months of health care (after that you're on your own).

McCain will give a family a tax credit of $5,000, - paid to your insurance company - but the average cost of a family health care plan in 2007 was $12,680. So McCain's plan will give you enough to pay from January to May. You'll need to come up with the money for June through December!

3. You may be one of 20 million people who will lose your health benefits

A study published in the respected journal Health Affairs found that 20 million will lose their employer paid for health insurance under the McCain plan, because many employers will decide they no longer have a responsibility to pay for health coverage for their workers.

4. And be forced to buy health insurance on your own

When you lose your health coverage at work, you'll need to look for coverage in the individual market. But you'll no longer have your employer doing the shopping for coverage and paying for coverage.

5. You won't be covered for pre-existing conditions - and may not be able to get coverage at all

When you are on your own, health insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions and they often refuse to sell any coverage to people who have had asthma, cancer or other common diseases. The federal law that protects people who get health insurance at work doesn't apply when you buy health insurance in the individual market.

6. But you will pay higher premiums as you get older or sicker or if you're a woman

In the individual market, health insurance companies charge higher premiums to people as they get older and charge more for people who have been treated for illnesses. Younger women get charged more than men of the same age, simply because they can become pregnant.

7. You may have deductibles as high as $11,200 a year

You may only be able to afford insurance plans with high deductibles, which under current federal law can be as much as $11,200 for a family plan.

8. With barebones benefits and no consumer protections

John McCain's plan would take away the protections that your state now offers people who buy health insurance on their own. Your state law requires health insurance to provide standard benefits and consumer protections. McCain's plan allows health insurance companies to get out of following your state's health insurance laws.

9. McCain protects health insurance profits - by passing the cost to taxpayers and the sick.

McCain's solution for people whom health insurance companies won't cover - because they've been treated for an illness - is to put them in a high-risk pool, paid for by state taxpayers and by charging high premiums.

10. Of course, John McCain won't have to worry about any of this for his health care.

You may not be covered, but John McCain will. As a Senator, he'll still get good coverage paid for by the federal government. As a veteran, he can also get cared for through the Veteran's Administration. And as a senior, he can get Medicare. That's three ways that the government provides health care for John McCain.

(also posted at the NOW! blog)

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