The Great Health Care Debate

Bob Moffit of Heritage writes that we are at a crossroads in health care in term of the difference between McCain and Obama’s proposals.   The Commonwealth Foundation has said much the same thing about the divergent paths we face in health care reforms at the state level. Moffit also seems to be one of few who have noted Obama’s “pay or play mandate,” though I’m not sure why he doesn’t compare Obama’s plan to the failure of RomneyCare:

The Obama plan is comprehensive in scope, but sparse in detail. …

Independent analysts expect that Obama’s creation of a new national health plan within a federally run “health insurance exchange” would lead to a rapid erosion of private coverage in general and employer-based coverage in particular. …

Independent analysts generally see McCain’s proposal as a bold and innovative change in health care financing. Powered by a universal health care tax credit, the tax policy change would result in a rapid expansion in private health insurance coverage and a decrease in dependency on government programs. While some critics imply that McCain’s proposal to tax health benefits to finance the tax credit amounts to a tax increase, the indisputable truth is that it is a major tax cut, particularly for the middle class.

David Gratzer also has a piece detailing why Obama’s attack on McCain’s plan is unfair, noting (among other things), that there is no reason why employers would stop providing health care plans:

But it’s difficult to understand why employers would run for the exits. Under the McCain plan, they would still be allowed to take tax deductions on payroll, as they do now (no raising of costs here). By one estimate, the total number of insured Americans would increase under the McCain plan as Americans—including many currently uninsured—opt to buy insurance directly, armed with a tax credit. That estimate may be quite conservative, since the McCain plan would also let people purchase health coverage across state lines, allowing them to shop around for better deals and making coverage more affordable for all. A recent study suggests that even without the tax credit, 12 million uninsured would get insurance through such a reform alone.

Finally, there is the “Gillespie plan” – this video from the Reason Foundation in which Nick Gillespie details his plan: “If you want health insurance, get some.”