McCain’s Health Care Fear-Mongering

mccainconvention.jpgDuring last night’s acceptance speech, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), insinuated that comprehensive health care reform would undermine the current system:

My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

So-called government-run health care has done marvels for the senator. As Ezra Klein points out, McCain “has never been off government health care a day in his life, and is healthy enough to run for president at 72.”

But personal history aside, McCain’s fear-mongering about comprehensive universal reform, is both deceitful and dishonest.

Consider Massachusetts’s landmark health reform law. The legislation built “upon the existing health care system, with expansions to Medicaid, subsidized coverage for people with low incomes, and reform of private insurance markets.” Far from forcing bureaucrats into consult rooms, the legislation increased access to meaningful care:

– The overall uninsurance rate for adults in Massachusetts decreased from 13% to 7%.

– For low-income adults, dental visits increased 9% and preventive care visits increased 6%.

– Low-income adults…who said they had not received care due to cost decreased from 27% in 2006 to 17% in 2007

McCain’s concerns about families being forced into “government care” — i.e. his insurance — also never materialized. In Massachusetts, “employer coverage increased by five percentage points” and there has been no evidence that “employers are less likely to offer coverage to their workers under health reform than before.”

Seventy-one percent of Massachusetts residents support these reforms. But if McCain is so scared of government programs, perhaps he should opt out of his own insurance coverage.