This morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) addressed the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) summit to peddle his health care prescription:
We’re going to offer every individual and family in America a large tax credit to buy their health care, so that their health insurance is theirs to keep even when they move or change jobs. My plan would allow those who want to stick with employer provided health insurance to do so. But I want to give individuals greater choice, rather than give small business no choice at all.
While the NFIB was “one of the chief assassins of President Bill Clinton’s health care reform plan,” the organization has yet to endorse McCain’s radical health reform agenda.
In fact, the federation seems less supportive of unraveling the employer-based health care system. While not fully embracing the Wonk Room’s progressive prescription, the NFIB’s plan does not call for a complete restructuring of the tax code, suggesting that small businesses are not confident in McCain’s proposal.
As Peter Harbage wrote yesterday, McCain’s proposal is also receiving a cool reception from the larger business community. America’s biggest companies prefer to participate in “regional purchasing pools so that employers can band together in negotiating with insurance companies.” Thus, “even large companies don’t have much negotiating power when facing large health plans throwing their weight behind the concept of building.”
UPDATE: This post has been amended.