I thought I would share with you how the McCain health care plan would affect me. I make an above average salary but I'm not in the top 5% or anything. I think I can safely consider myself "middle class" (as opposed to many people who think of themselves as "middle class" despite having incomes in the top 25% or bottom 25%).
According to my pay stubs, my health care benefits through my employer are worth about $6000. That's the dollar amount of the contributions to my health care as listed on my pay stubs. I've been told that the market value of an individual health insurance policy of equal coverage would be far higher (more than double by some accounts). But for the sake of this argument lets err on the side of making John McCain's plan look good. According to my estimations, I normally owe about $15,000 in taxes before I figure in deductions. McCain's plan would tax the value of my health benefits as if they were income. That would increase my basic tax bill from just under $15,000 to just under $17,000 (a roughly 13% tax increase!!!). But wait, you say, John McCain's plan offers a $2500 credit to every individual to pay for health care (this is often erroneously reported as $5000 but that figure only applies to families so if you are single like me you only get $2500 - I have no idea if you get more than $5000 if you have kids, I doubt it). Anyway, isn't that $2500 more than the $2000 tax hike? So aren't you $500 ahead?
Ah, but there are some problems with the $2500. First, you don't see the $2500 yourself. It can only be paid directly to the insurance company you hire. So if you keep your existing employer based health insurance, you won't get a penny. Second, assuming I, as an individual bargaining alone in the market, can replace my $6000 worth of employer provided coverage for the same price (a big assumption, I'd probably have to pay more), I would still be $3500 in the hole even after I got McCain's health care credit.
McCain's "choice" for me: Either I keep my existing health care package and pay an additional $2000 year in taxes OR I dump my employer provided health care and go looking for a replacement on the market and pay AT LEAST an additional $3500 in health care premiums. At best, I end up paying a lot more for the same coverage I get now (either through higher premiums or higher taxes). At worst I could find myself not being able to replace my current coverage at all even with the $2500 a year credit.
If John McCain's health care plan were implemented I would be subjected to a significant financial hardship. I urge all voters to consider this when they decide who to vote for. Get out your pay stubs and figure it out. This plan speaks volumes about who John McCain sees as his constituents and it ain't you and me folks! Don't just take what these bozos say at face value. Get out your pay stubs and look it up!
Also, in the context of McCain's assertion that Obama's tax plan is a socialist because it redistributes wealth, it is clear that this plan does exactly the same thing. The only difference is that Obama would distribute more of the wealth to people like us and McCain wants to distribute it to the health care companies.