Changing the McSubject October 12, 2007Posted by fitsnews in 2008 Presidential Primaries.
ARIZONA SENATOR SCORES LEGITIMATE CONSERVATIVE HIT WITH MARKET-BASED HEALTH CARE PLAN
FITSNews – October 12, 2007 – If the 2008 presidential campaign excluded discussion of issues beginning with the letter “i” (i.e. immigration and Iraq), we have no doubt that U.S. Senator John McCain would be the runaway favorite for the GOP nomination right now, and probably the presidency itself.
Unfortunately, those pesky “i” issues have been a huge part of the campaign, and for the last few months the Arizona Senator has been far too busy righting his financial ship in an effort to let people know he isn’t “surrendering” his White House bid to focus on changing the subject.
This week, however, McCain unveiled a remarkable health care plan that may do more to revive his sagging fortunes than even his closest advisors initially hoped. Simply put, the plan is brilliant – a pure market-based solution focused on driving down costs through choice, competition and smarter treatment of chronic diseases. Not surprisingly, McCain’s “McMedicine” is a huge hit among conservatives as well as the perfect platform for McCain to bash the liberal remedies being prescribed by the Democrat frontrunners and the substantially less-market-driven cures offered by his GOP rivals.
“My plan is based on the real crisis – the costs,” McCain said during a conference call with South Carolina reporters this afternoon. “The problem isn’t quality, it’s availability and cost. A perfect storm is coming, and we’ve got to get costs under control.”
McCain’s plan proposes to control those costs with a mixture of market-based prescriptions – tax credits ($2,500 for individuals, $5,000 for families), health savings accounts, freeing up providers to practice nationwide, prescription drug reimportation, medical malpractice reform, tort reform and major changes to Medicare’s fee-for-service model, which the Arizona Senator argues is not only inefficient, but doesn’t effectively treat chronic diseases.
In an exclusive interview with FITSNews, McCain’s senior domestic policy advisor and health guru Dan Crippen painted the bleak picture that his candidate’s plan is trying to brighten.
“By 2015 the cost of Medicare will be $4 trillion compared to $2.2 trillion today,” Crippen says. “By 2017 Medicare will be broke – with no IOU’s to call in.”
Crippen says McCain’s plan hinges on reducing those out-of-control costs through competition and “how we care for chronic illness,” noting that Medicare spending jumped by over 10% last year in large part due to treatment costs for diabetes, heart disease and other chronic ailments.
Crippen also said McCain opposes the sort of universal health care mandate proposed recently in Massachusetts by former Gov. Mitt Romney.
“Mandates put more money into the system, but not enough money to cover the Medicare increases at the current rate of growth,” he said. “The Senator is against mandates for philosophical reasons because he doesn’t think the government should be telling people what tests to take or what plans to buy, but mandates are not financially sensible either.”
We’ll be spending some time with McCain during his next South Carolina swing, so count on FITSNews to bring you more on “McMedicine” and the ongoing 2008 health care debate.